Don't Let Your Dryer Catch on Fire
There are thousands of clothes dryer fires each year in the U.S. costing an estimated $35 million in property loss, and even loss of life. Failure to keep the components clean is the leading cause of dryer fires.
Clothes Dryer Fire Prevention Tips
Air Flow is Your Friend
- Clean the lint filter before and after every dryer cycle.
- Clean the back of the dryer and vent pipe every three months, so lint doesn't build up.
- Vent the dryer outside using flexible tubes or metal venting pipes.
- Be sure nothing is blocking the outside vent (i.e. wildlife nests), one top cause of a dryer fire.
Avoid Flammable Materials
- Never use the dryer for oil-soaked rags or other items contaminated with flammable liquids like alcohol, cooking oils, or gasoline. Dry them outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, away from heat.
- Dry nothing containing foam, rubber, or plastic, such as a bathroom rug with a rubber backing.
- Use the correct electrical voltage outlet. Electrical issues are another top cause of a dryer fire.
- Inspect the gas line connection (for gas-powered dryers) every few months and make sure it's connected properly and free of leaks.
- Unplug or disconnect the dryer when you're away from home for an extended time.
General Household Rules
- Don’t overload the dryer.
- When your clothes take longer to dry than usual, it's a sign of trouble. Start troubleshooting.
- Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that can burn.
- Don’t leave a clothes dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.
Washing Machine Fire Safety
While you are in the laundry room, check the washing machine for fire hazards, too. A fire can start when water, electricity, and heat come into contact.
- Make sure your machine is correctly connected and grounded at its power source.
- Air-dry clothing and other items contaminated with flammable substances before putting them in the washing machine.
- Check plastic parts, like the detergent delivery system, for cracks or other damage that may expose interior wiring to water.
- Don't overload the washing machine tub.
Being proactive about these dryer fire causes goes a long way in protecting your family and home. But if tragedy strikes for any reason, and you're the victim of a house fire, contact Arizona Total Home Restoration for 24/7 emergency fire damage restoration.