6 Ways To Prevent a Dryer Fire
Most homeowners also own a clothes dryer and often use it several times a week. If not operated and maintained correctly, these appliances can be a significant fire hazard. In fact, they're one of the United States' leading causes of house fires. It's imperative to learn how to prevent a dryer or lint fire at your Bountiful, Utah, home.
Important Steps to avoid Fire Hazard
1. Have Your Dryer Professionally Installed
You can practice safety right from the beginning by getting a professional to install your dryer. A certified electrician is familiar with and experienced in these appliances and safely installs them according to the manufacturer's requirements. It can be dangerous for someone inexperienced to install a major appliance that uses electricity or gas.
2. Keep Watch on Your Running Dryer
Always be close by and aware when your dryer is running. Even the best-maintained dryer can cause a dryer fire, so you should never leave a dryer unattended by leaving your home or leaving it running after you go to bed.
3. Keep Your Laundry Area Clean
Whether you have a small laundry area or a laundry room, many of the things you typically find around washers and dryers are flammable. Keep the area around your dryer clear of clothes and other fabrics (e.g., curtains on a nearby window), flammable washing products, combustible materials (e.g., cigarette lighters), dust, and lint. Keeping your dryer and its surroundings free of lint can significantly reduce the risk of a lint fire.
4. Don't Overload the Dryer
Avoid overloading your dryer. While it may seem like you can get your laundry finished faster by doing one drying load rather than two, it can potentially cause a problem. When a dryer is packed with wet items, it limits the amount of room for air circulation and puts a lot of unnecessary stress on the appliance's components (e.g., pulleys, bearings, and belts). When your dryer has to work harder, it can result in an increase in friction and heat.
5. Keep the Lint Trap Clear
One of the best ways to prevent a dryer fire is by cleaning the lint filter after every load of laundry and checking it before every load. Lint is highly flammable. Research has found that over a third of dryer fires begin due to a filter full of lint. The dryer's heating element can reach 550 degrees during a cycle. This, combined with lint, can start a fire that spreads quickly and is difficult to put out. This devastation will most likely require the assistance of fire damage restoration experts. A clear lint trap can also make for more efficient drying.
6. Routinely Clean the Dryer's Exhaust Vent and Hose
Lint can accumulate at different dryer areas; the exhaust vent is one of those areas. Developing a blockage in the hoses can put you at much more risk for a fire because it restricts airflow. You can disconnect the vent from the hose to see if lint has accumulated. If you find lint, you can use a snake to clear it.
It pays to be proactive concerning your family's protection. Learn how to safely operate and maintain your dryer to avoid a lint fire.