Critical Dryer Safety Tips
Dryer safety should be taken seriously. There are approximately 16,000 home fires in the United States alone that involved either a dryer or washing machine. Over 90% of these fires started due to an unsafe or faulty clothes dryer.
The leading cause of dryer fires is preventable with a yearly cleaning of your dryer and the dryer venting. Lint not only gets clogged in your dryer venting, but it can get all over the inside of your dryer. Lint is extremely flammable, and when it’s near a high heat source can easily combust and start a house fire. Below are our dryer safety tips to help keep your family and home safe.
Consider having a professional install both your washer and clothes dryer. Some of the mistakes homeowners make include not connecting the dryer vent flex hose correctly, or there is a kink in the line, which restricts airflow and causes lint to build up.
No Lint Filter
Every once in a while, we arrive at home, and when we perform our dryer safety inspection, we observe the dryer doesn’t have a lint filter. At one point, the dryer came with one; however, it has gone missing, and the homeowner never replaced it. This will cause an excessive amount of lint to travel through your dryer vent and may cause a clog faster than it should.
Clean the Lint Filter
Some people don’t regularly clean their lint filter. It takes less than thirty seconds to do so but either due to laziness or don’t understand how vital it is; they skip the cleaning. When you restrict airflow, it can take longer for clothes to dry, therefore using more energy, which will increase your utility bill and cause your dryer to work harder than it should.
Outdoor Vent Cap
The outdoor vent cap needs to work correctly and shouldn’t be clogged with lint. Often we find the vent cap neglected and airflow restricted. Often a simple visual inspection of the vent cap can help you clear the obstruction.
Dryer Vent Cleaning
The venting from the dryer that runs to the outside of your home should be cleaned once a year. Lint has a way of getting stuck in these pipes and causing a clog.
Most fires start in the dryer near the heat source. Lint tends to get all over the inside of a dryer. This is why it is critical to have the inside of your dryer cleaned by a professional on a regular basis.
Dryers should be plugged into the proper electrical outlet using the three-prong electrical cord. Never bypass the ground wire or use extension cords as these create a dangerous fire hazard.
When you overload your clothes dryer, you cause that appliance to work harder than it should. One of the problems you create is there won’t be enough space within your dryer to get your clothes to dry properly. The other major problem is that it will cause your dryer heating element to stay on longer than it should, creating a potential fire hazard.
Do Laundry Only When Home
Since the dryer is one of the most dangerous appliances in your home, you should only run it when you are there and awake. If something happens, there is a good chance you can be there to prevent more significant damage to your home.
Unclutter Around the Dryer
Do your best to keep a clean and organized laundry room, especially around your dryer. Do not store anything flammable like cleaning agents, chemicals, or oils near your dryer.
Be Careful What You Dry
Always read the care instructions on your clothes to ensure that the garment can be dried. Not only are the instructions there to protect the garment, but some items are more flammable than others. Always avoid things that have rubber or plastics.