We use them nearly every day and may not realize that they pose one of the greatest risks of fire in the home. Aside from appliances that involve cooking or flames, clothes dryers are the next greatest cause of appliance fires. The National Fire Protection Association cites figures of $230 million in damage and over 50 fatalities annually due to home fires caused by washers and dryers. Most of these fires can be prevented.
As follow up investigations have shown, most dryer-related fires occur due to excess lint. If people cleaned their dryers regularly, thousands of dollars in damage and many lives might be saved. At ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning Services by Skip, we want your home in DeKalb, Sycamore, St. Peter, and DeKalb County to be safe. If a fire does occur, we stand ready to help with smoke, water, and fire damage repair and fire disaster restoration.
When buying a dryer – whether new or used – search consumer testing records online or at your library to make sure the make and model has not been the object of a recall or been cited as a fire risk. If your dryer is already in place, here are some tips for preventing a dryer fire:
- Match your clothes load to the size of the drum. Too many clothes won’t toss freely and take much longer to dry. This can cause the dryer motor to work harder, and if a motor burns out, a fire can begin.
- Check all electrical connections and cords for wear or potential shorts.
- Remove all lint from the lint trap and any other accessible areas before drying each load. Never dry clothes without a lint filter in place.
- Make sure your outside exhaust vent is not clogged with lint or blocked by grass or other debris. In winter, check to ensure it’s not blocked by snow or ice.
- Make sure your dryer is properly grounded and is using the proper plug and electrical outlet.
- Check the vent pipe, whether rigid or flexible, and clean it at least annually.
- Never turn on the dryer and leave the house.
Always keep a fire extinguisher in any room that has a major appliance, and make sure your laundry area has a working smoke detector. Train youngsters how to properly use the dryer before letting them operate it. ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning Servicesby Skip can help suggest ways to make your home safer, but we are also ready to help when fire-related disasters occur. Our trained professionals can handle smoke and water removal and fire damage repair and restoration in DeKalb County and surrounding areas. Call us today.