Is Your Clothes Dryer a Fire Risk?
Each year thousands of fires are caused by clothes dryers. As a homeowner, this appliance is one you likely use often, which means it’s essential to know the fire risks clothes dryers can pose and how to prevent them. Read on to learn more about clothes dryer safety.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 14,693 fires each year are caused by clothes dryers. These fires often result in hundreds of injuries and an estimated $238 million in property damage claims.
Clothes Dryer Safety Tips
The following are some helpful tips for clothes dryer safety that can help your family stay safe:
- Always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow all safety instructions.
- Clean the lint filter both before and after each load of laundry.
- Check behind the dryer where lint can get trapped and regularly clean the area.
- Hire a qualified service technician to clean the interior of the dryer and venting system on a routine basis.
- Replace any plastic or vinyl exhaust hoses with metal venting.
- Avoid overloading your dryer. Overloading not only causes drying to be delayed, but it may also cause the dryer to break down.
- Don’t dry clothing or fabrics that contain flammable solutions such as alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline, spot removers or dry-cleaning solvents. These substances give off vapors that can ignite and explode.
Dryer Maintenance and Fire Prevention
The Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a respected product testing organization, cites lack of maintenance as the number one reason for dryer fires. Consumers are at risk of a fire when they do not clean dryer lint traps or vent systems regularly.
Recently, the UL changed its standards for electric dryers, and now recommends that consumers not only clean lint traps but also remove lint from around the lint screen and routing wiring.
For more information on dryer maintenance, click here.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can help prevent a disastrous clothes dryer fire in your home.