I’m sure some of you reading this are doing laundry right now, if not, I’m sure you did some laundry earlier this week. Laundry is part of life’s weekly grind. Each year there are 2,900 dryer fires reported that cause an estimated five deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss. January, being the month, most dryer fires happen.
Causes Of A Dryer Fire
The most common cause of a dryer fire is failing to do a thorough cleaning. The lint trap is not a foolproof method for catching all the fuzz from clothing, lint can gradually build up and catch fire in the heating element or exhaust duct.
Another cause of a dryer fire happening is when you do not clean your dryer vent ductwork. Your vent ductwork should be cleaned by a professional yearly to prevent more buildup.
Nine Tips To Prevent Dryer Fires
- Remember to clean out the lint trap. When you put a load of laundry in the dryer remember to check the lint trap. This will help reduce the chance of a fire and help maintain the efficiency of the dryer.
- Install the dryer with care. Follow the manufacturer’s instruction manual when you install the vent pipe. Use a short, straight pipe that is long enough from the wall. This kind of pipe helps to reduce the bends for the pipe, and it will create fewer opportunities for lint to gather.
- Keep flammables clear. Move any cleaning supplies far way from the dryer. You should also sweep out dust in the area around and under your dryer.
- Think about a metal dryer duct. Research shows that a flexible foil or plastic duct can sag and lead to lint buildup at the lowest points. A metal duct won’t sag, and they are more likely to contain any fire that would start.
- Make sure you read the tags. If the tag in your clothing reads tumble dry low, don’t turn the dryer to high. Remember to use caution with certain items like bath mats, padded bras and bibs – they may contain rubber that should not be exposed to hot temps.
- Use extra caution with flammable liquids. You should wash any clothing stained with volatile chemicals more then once and you should consider line dry over machine dry.
- Use your clothes to diagnose problems. If your clothes don’t feel dry or if they are extra hot to the touch after a normal dry cycle are signs that something is wrong. Before you do the next load of laundry, check for a clogged vent and clean out the lint trap.
- Don’t leave your dryer unattended. If you need to leave the house while your dryer is running, you should turn off the dryer until you are back home.
- Check the outside vent. You should make sure that the outside vent flap is not covered by snow or debris.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
Another way to protect your home is with the right homeowners insurance. Talk with a local independent insurance agency like, R.C. Keller & Company, to learn more on how you can save and receive a free quote.