Few people realize the dangers that lurk in their laundry room, but clothing dryers are actually the cause of about 15,000 house fires across North America every year.* While in some cases faulty appliances or wiring may be to blame, many dryer fires can be prevented when proper maintenance, venting, and safety precautions are followed.
Over time, your dryer ducts can fill with lint that bypasses the lint trap or filter. That lint can block the flow of air, cause excessive heat build-up, and sometimes burst into flames.
You can help prevent dryer fires by following these tips:
- Use metal dryer ducts instead of foil or plastic since they are more fire resistant.
- Remove lint from the dryer filter each time you use the dryer and clean the ducts annually. Not only will this help reduce the risk of fire, but your clothes will also dry faster and your dryer will use less energy.
- Never use a dryer with a damaged or missing lint filter.
- Don’t store flammable items on top or around your dryer, and be sure to clean inside, behind, and underneath it regularly, as lint can build up in these places.
- Never put fabrics that have been saturated by oils, gasoline or chemicals nor rubber coated or foam materials into a dryer.
- Take care when drying clothes that have been stained with oils or chemicals, such as gasoline or cleaning agents. Wash the clothing a few times to minimize the amount of chemicals on them and then line dry them.
- Buy dryers that use moisture sensors rather than thermostats to determine the end of the auto-dry cycle. Thermostats often allow the dryer to run longer than necessary.
For more tips and advice, check out this two minute video from our Good to Know Series.
Special thanks to B&N General Contractors for their support in providing a location to film the Good to Know series.
* Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission