Clothes dryers are an everyday household item that can pose a serious risk of fire if they are not properly maintained. A clothes dryer operates by blowing hot air through a revolving drum. As clothes are dried, lint is produced as water is removed. Lint accumulation, in the dryer and in the dryer vent, can reduce airflow and create a highly flammable fuel source.
Clothes dryer fires account for over 15,000 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries annually. “Failure to clean” is the leading factor contributing to clothes dryer fires.
Simple Safety Tips to Prevent a Clothes Dryer Fire
- Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
- Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
- Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected and around the drum.
- Rigid or flexible metal venting materials should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
- Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
- Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
- Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
- Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t over-load your dryer.
- Do not leave a dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.
- Never dry items that have come in contact with flammable substances, such as cooking oil, gasoline, and paint thinner, or alcohol.
- Keep the dryer area clear of things that can burn, such as boxes or clothing.
- Check the outdoor vent to make sure it is not covered by snow or obstructed.
For more information, contact Countryside’s Fire Prevention Bureau at (847) 367-5511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.