Preventing Clothes Dryer Fires
One of the most useful appliances of the modern home is also the costliest to run and the most dangerous. The clothes dryer. In the 50’s only 10% of homes owned a time saving clothes dryer. By 2009 over 80% of US households owned this modern convenience. While this domestic appliance has been around for over half a century their dangers remain the same. The US Fire Administration reports there are close to 3,000 fires every year resulting in 5 deaths, 100 injuries and over $30 million in property losses. Surprisingly the most common reason for dryer fires is also the easiest to prevent, failure to clean. Lint is the most common culprit for dryer fires. Once these fires start they spread easily and even if stopped in time they can leave behind a large amount of smoke damage.
Preventing dryer fires is easy
Never operate the dryer without its lint filter.
Clean the lint filter after each cycle. Periodically, use a lint brush or special vacuum attachment to remove lint from under the lint trap.
Check hoses behind the dryer to make sure they are in good repair and not bent or restricted.
Keep the outdoor vent open when the dryer is operating. For outside wall dampers place a covering on them to keep out rain, and debris.
If you have a gas-powered dryer make sure it is professionally inspected each year.
Dryer fires can occur in both residential and commercial settings. By following the tips above you lower your risk of a dangerous dryer fire.