Dryer Fires - Did you know it’s not unusual for a clothes dryer to start a house fire?
Did you know it’s not unusual for a clothes dryer to start a house fire?Debris and lint can build up in your clothes dryer over time, eventually causing it to exhaust less efficiently. This creates the possibility of fires.
When your dryer vent is clogged, the clothes take twice as long to dry, the dryer runs at higher temperatures than what it’s designed to do, and the lifespan of your appliance decreases. In addition, the heating element could burn out and cause a fire to ignite.
It's not uncommon to avoid or forget to clean the dryer vent. This can be a very dangerous oversight.
Because of the way homes are built today, cleaning out the dryer vent might not be easy. Previously, dryers were located next to outside walls, which made the dryer venting system easy to keep clean. Nowadays, some dryer ducts are more difficult to access. Some dryer vent at the roof line. This distance and location can lend itself to birds and animals making a home in the vent.
Facts and figures
• Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 4%.
• The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean (32%), followed by unclassified mechanical failure or malfunction (22%). Eight percent were caused by some type of electrical failure or malfunction.
• The risk of fire is roughly equal for gas-fueled clothes dryers and electric-powered clothes dryers.
Clothes dryer do’sInstallation
• Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional.
• Make sure the correct electrical plug and outlet are used and that the dryer is connected properly.
• Read manufacturers' instructions and warnings in use and care manuals that come with new dryers.
• Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. In addition, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged.
• Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months.
• Have your dryer cleaned regularly by a professional, especially if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry.
Check out this great video: https://youtu.be/G30EMOn1Cq8
• Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
• Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain and dirt.
• Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
• Replace coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid, non-ribbed metal duct.
• Have gas-powered dryers inspected every year by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are together and free of leaks.
• Check regularly to make sure nests of small animals and insects are not blocking the outside vent.
• Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that can burn.
• If you will be away from home for an extended time, unplug or disconnect the dryer.
Clothes dryer don’t's
• Don’t use a clothes dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.
• Don’t overload the dryer.
• Don’t use a wire screen or cloth to cover the wall damper. They can collect lint and clog the dryer vent.
• Don’t dry anything containing foam, rubber or plastic. An example of an item not to place in a dryer is a bathroom rug with a rubber backing.
• Don’t dry any item for which manufacturers' instructions state “dry away from heat.”
• Don’t dry glass fiber materials (unless manufacturers' instructions allow).
• Don’t dry items that have come into contact with anything flammable like alcohol, cooking oils or gasoline. Dry them outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, away from heat.
• Don’t leave a clothes dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.
Check your dryer out today
Ali Palacios, ABR, MCNE, TAHS
Today's Home Realty
Mobile - 832-418-0670
9119 Hwy 6 S #230-116, Missouri City, TX 77459