Tomorrow. Just thinking about tomorrow makes you feel exhausted. You have a long list of errands on top of your regular duties at work, at home, or both. Then you glance over at the pile. You know the one. It’s grown all week. It wreaks of sports activities, yard work, and just plain old body odor.

It’s your pile of laundry.

The thought crosses your mind that this is a chore you can do in your sleep, or at least while your sleeping. You can wash the clothes before bedtime, and right before you crash for the night, you can throw the load into the dryer, set it, and forget it.

This sounds like a perfect plan, except that it isn’t. Here are some reasons why.

Your House Could Catch on Fire

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly 14,000 home fires reported each year are caused by dryers.

House fires spread quickly and get hotter with every second. Fires are tricky; they produce odorless gases that make you feel confused and sleepy.

Let’s say you fall asleep while baking a pizza. The pizza starts to burn and releases a nasty odor, awakening you so you can freak out and try to remove the pizza before the smoke alarm starts ringing.

Once a house ignites, the gases can flow all over your home and into your body without any odors. This is also a reason to make sure your smoke detectors are operational at all times.

You Could Be Injured or Worse

If the gases don’t harm you, the smoke will. In just four minutes, the smoke of a house fire can completely darken your home, even if all your lights are on. And if you are sleeping with the dryer running, it’s doubtful your lights are on.

House fires cause injury and even death. In just a few minutes, a house fire can reach over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Reports by the US Fire Administration tell us that dryer fires are responsible for around 5 deaths and over 100 injuries annually. For comparison purposes, the NFPA reports a total of 4,000 Americans die from house fires (of any kind) each year, while 2,000 receive significant injuries.

This does not include the number of firefighters injured or killed while trying to put out a house fire.

However, Arizona firefighters rock. According to FEMA, no firefighter has died while on duty this year. And only 2.9% of calls for emergency services are related to residential fires.

Wait! There is more good news!

Dryer Fires Are Preventable

Now that you have learned how fearful we should be of house fires, it’s nice to know most of them are preventable, especially dryer fires.

One step you can take is to contact your local Phoenix appliance dealer and ask for information about the new Smart dryers. With alerts that tell you when the dryer has too much lint buildup, or that a vent is clogged, you can feel more confident in your appliance.

Not confident enough to dry your clothes while sleeping, however.

If you don’t need or can’t afford a Smart dryer right now, you are not alone. Other appliances may come and go, but our dryer, it’s part of the family.

If this sounds familiar, here are a few tips to help you prevent dryer fires with your current appliance.

How to Care for Your Dryer

You’ve heard this before, and it is still true, hiring a Phoenix-based appliance company to provide maintenance service on your dryer is the number one action you can take to prolong its health and lifespan. They can also replace those accordion type ducts with smooth ones, slowing the buildup of lint.

Speaking of lint, clean the lint filter. Clean it often.

Cleaning the vent ducts should be done annually or anytime you need to find a missing sock. Okay, so maybe a sock can’t get into your vent, but lots of other stuff can. Remember all those items you forgot to remove from your pockets?

Finally, don’t dry clothing or materials that are covered in flammables. Gasoline, paint, and other chemical stains are signs you have worked hard. But they can also be a hazard when they are heated in the dryer. Line dry them instead.

Yes, you can line dry your clothes overnight, while you sleep.

Ask any local appliance professional; the safety of your family is the most important task you can complete daily. One way to accomplish this is to avoid running your dryer overnight.