Preventing Dryer Fires in Your Home
Laundry is a vital part of our routine. We use washing machines and dryers for our clothes very regularly – in some cases weekly or even daily depending on the size of your family. But what were to happen if your clothes dryer catches fire? This can cost you thousands of dollars in replacements and repairs, and even your home if you’re away when it catches on fire.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported 481,500 structure fires in the United States in 2019, down 3.5 percent from 2018. Those fires caused $12.3 billion in property damage in 2019. The average loss for these structure fires was just over $25,000.
When and how does a dryer fire occur?
It has been reported that approximately one third of clothes dryer fires occur due lint buildup. So, if you feel that your clothes are taking a longer time to dry than a standard time , are getting hotter than usual, or are otherwise having similar issues, reach out to a maintenance professional for help. This can potentially save your home and your life by preventing a potential home fire.
However, there are several ways that you can help prevent and avoid dryer fires! Read the list below to find out how you can prevent or even eliminate this kind of fire hazard.
Clothes Dryer Fire Safety Dos and Don’ts
Don’t – Use your dryer without the lint filter
Don’t try to use your dryer without the lint filter itself as it may also cause a fire. Your dryer needs this to work properly. This will ensure each dry cycle will be much less of a fire hazard and will dry your clothes faster and safer.
Do – Clean the dryer’s lint trap regularly
Always try to check and clean the lint trap each time before you start your machine. Whenever you feel that your dryer is not working properly or any unusual sound is coming from it, check your lint trap. If you still run into any issues, you could also contact a maintenance professional to check whether you have excess lint in your dryer vent pipe.
Don’t – Leave your dryer on while you’re gone.
If you’re going leaving your home for whatever reason, make sure to turn your dryer off. If your dryer catches fire while you’re not home, it can burn your house down and cause tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage instead of simply requiring a new dryer.
Do – Inspect the dryer’s ducts and vents regularly
Try to make a habit of inspecting the metal ducts and dryer vents on a monthly basis to prevent dryer fires. And, if you find any blockages in the ducts and vents, ask an expert to clean them or replace them if they cannot be repaired. Otherwise, you will be at risk of a fire.
Don’t – Overload your dryer
If you overload your dryer with too many items, an excessive amount of lint can build up and can prevent the dryer from properly ventilating. As a heating element, a drying machine can’t ventilate properly when it’s at or above capacity and it may be at a higher risk of causing a fire. Consult an expert or refer to your clothes dryer manual if you’re unsure as to how much your dryer can handle.
Keep these helpful tips above in mind as you do your laundry this week! Remember, it’s much cheaper to get dryer maintenance than it is to have a dryer fire. Schedule a home inspection today with Jenkins Restorations for further assistance