Annually, clothes dryers in the United States cause nearly 3,000 home fires. Nationally, that translates to over 100 injuries and $35 million in property damage, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Almost all of these fires were preventable had the homeowners followed instructions for the dryers, checked for safety issues, and regularly cleaned their filters and vents. ServiceMaster by Skip hopes you never experience one of these fires in your home or apartment, but if it does happen, we are ready to respond with expert technicians for fire damage cleanup and repair in Sycamore, DeKalb, and DeKalb County in Illinois.
Roughly a third of dryer fires happen because someone didn’t clean the lint trap or the outside vent. Most of the other fires relate to some other misuse of the dryer that results in a burned out motor or a lack of proper maintenance. The U.S. Fire Administration, part of FEMA, offers prevention tips to prevent dryer fires:
- Clean out the lint filter before drying each load of clothes
- Don’t overload – a wash load doesn’t always equal a safe dryer load
- Make sure the clothes have spun properly in the washer so they aren’t soggy
- Check the exhaust line from the dryer to the outside of your building. Clogs can cause serious overheating
- If your laundry room is unusually hot, check for lint or vent clogs
- Consider drying comforters, blankets, and heavy coats at a laundromat
- Check for unusual odors from your dryer
Electrical wiring failures cause less than six percent of dryer fires. The vast majority of fires are due to operational errors such as oversized loads or drying rubberized or other synthetic materials that shouldn’t be in a dryer. It also includes people failing to prevent a buildup of lint or dust in the dryer or outlet areas. You’re most at risk for a dryer fire in the colder months because you’re wearing – and washing – more clothes, but they can happen at any time of the year. Be careful, and if you do happen to have a fire, contact ServiceMaster by Skip for the best in professional fire damage cleanup and fire damage repair in DeKalb County and surrounding areas.