9 Safety Tips to Prevent a Dryer Fire
9 Safety Tips to Prevent a Dryer Fire
Doing laundry usually is part of our routine. However, it is vital to keep your clothes dryer in good working condition to maintain the safety and efficiency. Avoiding these particular bad practices can help you prevent a dryer fire. The list below is our best Safety Tips to Prevent a Dryer Fire.
1. Professionally Installed
Professional technicians can ensure the proper and careful installation of your dryer. These professionals should be knowledgeable about all different kinds of units–from gas and electric dryers to washer/dryer combos. These technicians are familiar with most manufacturer recommendations, such as the proper installation of the vent pipe.
A technician would explain how reducing bends in the pipe is important because it creates few opportunities for lint to gather. If the distance from the vent to your dryer is substantial, they can install a dryer vent fan for you. This is an automatic electric device that speeds up airflow through the duct each time the dryer runs. Having a professions install and service your dryer unit for you can help ensure that any potential hazard is avoided.
2. Annual Maintenance
The Lint King Dryer Vent Cleaning Experts advise that the principal cause of clothes dryer fires is the failure to clean and maintain the dryer’s airways. Check behind the dryer where lint has a tendency to build up. You should clean your dryer vent annually and perform inspections of the hose and vent for any blockages quarterly.
You should schedule a dryer airway and ductwork cleaning annually. This will limit the amount of lint that accumulates as well as a professional inspection and test of the appliance. Hiring The Ling Kng Inc. for this maintenance will ensure it’s done correctly by a certified dryer exhaust technicians.
3. Remove Flammables Items From Surrounding Area
Dryer lint is not the only flammable that should be considered and kept clear of the heat of the dryer unit. Anything flammable should be swept up and disposed of before it piles up and becomes a fire hazard. Cleaning up dust and lint may be a hassle, but vacuuming it up is easier than dealing with the aftermath of a fire.
On the same note, do not store cleaning products, boxes, and baskets of clothing around the dryer because they may also cause a fire to start, which could spread quickly. While this is an extreme situation, keeping the area free of clutter is a vital step toward fire prevention.
4. Keep the Lint Trap Clean
The most common sources of ignition are lint. Lint is extremely flammable. As lint, hair, and pet fur collect within the dryer cavity, which sits close to the heating element. The temperatures are 490° and higher, which can quickly start a lint fire. Overlooking your lint filter is something that you should never do. Check and clean before and after each cycle.
Periodically clean the interior of the dryer to remove excess lint and hair buildup. This essential step will help prolong damage to the appliance.
It is crucial that you never run a dryer without the lint trap installed. This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often it happens.
5. Use Clothes Dryer Approved Flexible Metal Venting Materials
Most clothes dryer makers specify the use of flexible or rigid metal venting material for sustaining proper drying time and airflow. Accordion-type ductwork can trap lint, create clogs and increase blockages. Any plastic or coiled wire foil dryer venting should be replaced immediately with rigid non-ribbed metal ducts. Buying from a reputable merchant is critical to proper setup and to the required safety standards are met.
6. Clean The Dryer Exhaust Vent Pipe
Blocked clothes dryer vents are the leading causes of dryer fires. It is challenging to discern when the vents are clogged. Most homeowners are totally unaware that the ductwork requires regular cleaning, usually annually. However, it is vital to understand that lint and other debris accumulates within the vent hose, and when it gets wet this compounds creates a big problem. The buildup restricts airflow, which will cause overheating and damage to your clothing and appliance.
In between professional inspections, clean the outside exhaust vent monthly. It is best to check this when your dryer is running by making sure that the exhaust air is escaping correctly. If you cannot feel any air flowing, it is likely that there is an accumulation of lint clogging the system. This will require you to disconnect the exhaust vent from the dryer to remove the clog. Remember to reconnect the transition piece to the wall vent before you use the dryer again. If you are uncertain of how to do this, it is recommended that you contact The Lint King for professional help.
8. Prevent Over Stuffing
It’s easy to procrastinate on laundry, especially when you have a busy schedule. However, this can lead to you saving all of your dirty laundries to be cleaned on the same day, and it’s easy to use this as an excuse to overload your dryer, which can potentially be a safety hazard.
A heavy load is too hard on the dryer and is the most common cause of it breaking down. In addition to downtime and repair costs, an overloaded dryer can cause the drum belt, spindle bearings and pulleys to work overtime, producing higher than average temperatures. When this happens, the friction can ignite a spark and cause a fire.
Keep organized and space your laundry loads out to a few times a week. If your schedule makes this difficult or unreasonable, it might be a better idea just to take the time to split your laundry load into two or three loads instead, and just take a slightly longer (albeit safer) time to take care of this necessary chore.
7. Inspect and Replace Gas Lines
Qualified professionals should inspect the gas line and connection to ensure that they are free of leaks. Gas leaks are especially dangerous and can cause other issues. If you observe a burning smell when you run your dryer, immediately discontinue use of your appliance and call the fire department as soon as possible.
9. Never Run a Clothes Dryer Unattended!
We all have probably caved to convenience and thrown a load of clothes into the dryer before heading to work or running errands. However, if a fire starts while you are gone, you cannot stop it early. Besides, if you are asleep, it may be too late before you realize that your house has caught fire.
For your own safety, always operate the dryer when you are home and awake. It is also a good idea to have current fire and CO alarm in the laundry room.
A clothes dryer that does not vent correctly increases the risk of fire significantly! Look for signs that your clothes dryer is not working correctly and any potential increases in the risk of fire. Indicators to keep an eye out for are things like a lack of visible lint on the lint trap, the top of the dryer being hot to the touch while running and clothes take longer than one cycle to dry. Other indications of potential trouble are clothes that come out more heated than usual and the dryer repeatedly stopping during a drying cycle.
Do not forget to clean the inlet vents on the back of your clothes dryer. Several times a year pull your dryer out and vacuum out the vent louvers. Lint and pet fur accumulate so to maintain the cleanings.