When it comes to the household appliances we use daily, safety is something that’s often taken for granted. That’s why it may come as a shock that clothes dryers are a fire hazard that causes 2,900 fires in American homes each year, and result in 100 injuries and five fatalities.
Reasons Why Dryer Fires Occur
The two main culprits in dryer fires are lint buildup and airflow restrictions caused by long vents with bends or sharp turns. Lint is highly combustible, and it easily accumulates in a long, convoluted vent. When you factor in reduced airflow, it’s a fire waiting to happen.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Clothes Dryer Fires
You can make it less likely that a fire will occur by having your clothes dryer professionally installed. A pro knows the right type of plug and outlet to use, should recommend installing a rigid vent pipe rather than coiled-wire tubing, and knows to choose the straightest, shortest venting route possible. These additional tips for using, cleaning, maintaining your dryer can also help minimize your risk of fire:
- Make it a habit to clean the lint filter each time you use the dryer, and clean out the vent pipe at least every three months.
- If the lint filter doesn’t fit snugly, is damaged or missing, don’t use the dryer until it’s replaced.
- Hire a pro to inspect and clean the dryer and its vent system once a year, and check the gas line and connection if you have a gas-powered model.
- Clean off accumulated lint from the outdoor dryer vent regularly, make sure that it’s free of obstructions and that the vent cover louvers open when the appliance is in use.
- Never overload your dryer, and don’t leave it running when you’re going to be away from home or sleeping.
- Don’t put foam, plastic, fiberglass or rubber items in the dryer, or anything that has been in contact with flammable liquids like oil, alcohol or gasoline.
Contact us at CCAC to learn more ways to limit the fire hazard posed by the clothes dryer in your Coastal Bend home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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