Doing laundry is most likely part of your every day routine. But did you know how important taking care of your clothes dryer is to the safety of your home? I have recently been in several homes in the Wellington county and Waterloo region area that were on the market and have been affected by home fires due to dryer fires. Some of the damage was more severe than others, but those with dryers in the basement also affected the home structure by charred beams, and stringers, etc. Indeed, it is a fact that the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them. So this week, I am bringing you 10 tips to prevent a clothes dryer fire.
10 Tips to prevent a clothes dryer fire:
- Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
- Do not use the dryer without the lint filter.
- Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry and remove lint that has collected around the drum.
- Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used for proper air flow and drying time.
- Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap opens when the dryer is operating.
- Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe by using your hand or shop vac, or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
- Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a qualified professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of any leaks.
- Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
- Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
- Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
- Check the outdoor vent flap to make sure it is not covered by snow.
- Dryers should be properly grounded.
- Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that are flammable or can burn. Such as boxes, cleaning supplies, & clothing, etc.
- Any clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances, like gasoline, paint thinner, or similar solvents should be laid outside to dry first, then can be washed and dried as usual.