How Worried Should I Be about Dryer Fires?
Every year, firefighters respond to nearly 14,000 home fires caused by clothes dryers. Dryer fires are responsible annually for 7 non firefighter deaths, 344 injuries as well as $233 million in property damage. 27% of home dryer fires are caused by an accumulation of lint, which is why cleaning your dryer lint trap regularly is crucial.
To prevent fires, clean the dryer’s lint screen after every load. But don’t stop there. Lint can accumulate in your dryer’s vent coming off the back of the dryer. Having the line that goes out the back of the house should also be cleaned on a regular basis. If your dryer is taking longer to dry clothes, it’s an indicator you may a have a clogged line. Certain dryers have indicators that detect a clogged line but they may not pick up on partial blockages.
Never let your dryer run while you are away from home or going to bed.
To clean your dryer’s vent and duct follow these steps.
- Unplug the dryer and turn off the gas if applicable.
- Slide the dryer away from the wall.
- Don’t over stretch the gas line.
- Disconnect the vent from the dryer.
- Vacuum out the line and the backside of the dryer.
- In the winter check for drifting snow that may block your outdoor vent.
- Reconnect everything and slide dryer back.
Following these few safety rules will keep you and your family safe for years.