The laundry room might seem benign enough, but anywhere there's extreme heat and lots of water, there's the potential for fire and flooding. To keep your family safe and prevent damage, it's important to be aware of common laundry room dangers so you can address them.
For starters, check your washer supply hoses. Typical rubber-based water supply lines are susceptible to room-flooding breakdowns thanks to their habit of swelling and bursting. Replace them with the braided steel water supply type made to withstand daily stresses. Another smart installation is an automatic shutoff valve for the water lines. Such smart shut-off valves can detect an out-of-the-ordinary water flow before it leaks down to the floor below.
Speaking of valves, it is a good idea to make sure your washer valves are accessible and functional. It’s a good practice to turn off the valves between loads and add a single-lever turn-off valve, which turns both hot and cold water supplies off at the same time.
Also scope out your dryer venting situation, and plan to stay on top of maintaining it. Every year an average of 14,500 dryers catch fire and are responsible for up to 10 deaths -- due not to wiring problems but the lint that collects in the dryer’s exhaust ducts. You should not only be cleaning the lint filter between every dryer cycle, but you should also make a point to regularly clean out the dryer duct with a dryer brush. It's also important to replace plastic or vinyl dryer ducts with metal duct material, which is sturdy, making it easier to clean your dryer vents.
Doing laundry is already tedious enough without throwing fire or flooding into the mix. Following the tips above will help you avert disaster in the laundry room. (But you're on your own for finding those missing socks!)