Dryer fire seemed dangerous nowadays. Between rushed loads of towels and soccer uniforms, we often forget to regularly maintain our dryers so they stay in good working condition. Don’t overlook important warning signs
Safety Tips to Prevent a Dryer Fire
1. Professional Installation
Professional technicians can ensure the proper and careful installation of your dryer. These professionals should be knowledgeable about all different kinds of units–from gas and electric dryers to washer/dryer combos. These technicians are familiar with most manufacturer recommendations, such as the proper installation of the vent pipe.
A technician would explain how reducing bends in the pipe is important because it creates few opportunities for lint to gather. If the distance from the vent to your dryer is substantial, they can install a dryer vent fan for you. This is an automatic electric device that speeds up airflow through the duct each time the dryer runs. Having a professions install and service your dryer unit for you can help ensure that any potential hazard is handled properly.
2. Regular Servicing
Experts suggest that the primary cause of clothes dryer fires is failure to clean and maintain them. Check behind the dryer where lint has a tendency to build up. You should clean your dryer annually and perform inspections of the hose and vent for any blockages twice a year.
It is a good idea to consider scheduling a qualified service person to clean the interior of the dryer chassis annually. This will minimize the amount of lint that accumulates as well as give you a professional opinion of the safety status of your unit. A professional can also inspect the venting and exhaust system. To ensure that that this procedure is done correctly, employ only certified dryer exhaust technicians.
3. Keep the Surrounding Area Free of Flammables
Dryer lint is not the only flammable that should be considered and kept clear of the heat of the dryer unit. Anything flammable should be swept up and disposed of before it piles up and becomes a fire hazard. Cleaning up dust and lint may be a hassle, but vacuuming it up is easier than dealing with the aftermath of a fire.
On the same note, do not store cleaning products, boxes and baskets of clothing around the dryer because they may also cause a fire to start, which could spread quickly. While this is an extreme situation, keeping the area free of clutter is a vital step toward fire prevention.
4. Clean the Lint Filter Before and After Each Load of Laundry
The most common sources of ignition in dryer fires are household dust and lint. They collect within the dryer cavity, which sits closely to the heating elements. Here, temperatures can reach 550°, which can easily start a fire. Neglecting to clean our your lint filter is something that you should never do.
A good habit to adopt during your laundry routine would be to clean the lint screen before and after every drying cycle. This is an obvious first line of defense of dryer fire prevention. In addition, wiping down the interior of the dryer will remove excess lint buildup that the screen fails to catch. This is a less obvious step that most people neglect to do, but is important all the same.
It is crucial that you never run a dryer without a lint filter either, as this is removing this built-in defense against hazardous lint buildup. This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often it happens.