Horrified by the potential for a fire, I am sharing this information after a personal experience, with the intention of preventing a catastrophe.
Recently, a new roof was installed on the condos in the community in which I live. Unaware of the danger, the roofer left screens on the newly installed roof dryer vents. Shortly after my roof was installed, I noticed that my dryer was taking longer to dry my laundry. Important to note, this is the first warning sign that the dryer vent is becoming clogged with lint. I had had my dryer vent cleaned routinely, so I mistakenly did not think that was the cause. Months later, it was determined that the screens were preventing the normal escape of the lint, causing an excessive lint buildup in the dryer vent system, creating extremely dangerous conditions for a fire.
IT IS A FACT! The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them.
Doing laundry is most likely part of your every day routine. But did you know how important taking care of your clothes dryer is to the safety of your home? With a few simple safety tips you can help prevent a clothes dryer fire.
- Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
- Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
- Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry.
- Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
- Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
- Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a qualified professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
- Dryers should be properly grounded.
- Check the outdoor vent flap to make sure it is not covered by snow.
- Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing, etc.
- Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances, like gasoline, paint thinner, or similar solvents should be laid outside to dry, then can be washed and dried as usual.
- Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
- Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
- Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
- Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
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