Fires Sparked by Clothes Dryers: Reduce Your Risk
House fires caused by clothes dryers are far more common than you may think and lack of maintenance is the number one cause (according to Fire Prevention Canada). Know the warning signs that it’s time to clean your dryer and follow these tips to avoid a devastating fire.
5 Warning Signs that it’s Time to Clean Your Clothes Dryer
- Your clothes take a long time to dry.
- The outside of the dryer and your clothes are very hot at the end of the cycle.
- The vent hood flap doesn’t open properly.
- It’s been longer than a year since your last cleaning.
- You notice heat or humidity build-up around the dryer.
Tips to Avoid Dryer Fires
- Clean the lint trap after every use (cleaning kits can be purchased at hardware stores) and clean the exhaust line a couple times a year as lint can get trapped in it.
- Hire a professional to service your dryer once a year.
- Do not leave the dryer running unattended or if you’re not at home.
- Never operate the dryer with a damaged or missing lint filter.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible items.
- Make sure your dryer duct is not plugged and it’s connected to vent outdoors.
- Replace plastic venting pipes with flexible aluminum or steel material to sustain proper air flow and avoid crimping.
- Never use your clothes dryer to dry fabrics that have been saturated by oils, gasoline or chemicals. And never dry rubber-coated or foam materials.
- Use caution when drying woolen or fleece clothing as they shed plenty of lint.
- Don’t overload your dryer.
- Make sure you use the proper electrical outlet for your dryer and don’t use multiple extension cords.
- Always follow your owner’s manual for the proper operating instructions.
- Install working smoke alarms on every floor of your home.
Be proactive and get cleaning today!