While clothes dryers are designed to make your life easier, they can also become a serious safety hazard if they are not maintained. Each year, more than 15,500 home fires start due to clothes dryers. Knowing how to prevent a fire in your clothes dryer, can help to ensure that your home and family stay safe.
The biggest cause of dryer fires is lack of maintenance. Putting items that are not meant to be in a dryer, such as athletic shoes and foam-backed rugs, in your dryer can also increase the chances of starting a fire. Keep these tips in mind to lower your chances of having a fire start in your clothes dryer.
- Always clean out the lint trap before each load of laundry. Also make sure to clean behind the dryer where lint can easily build up.
- At least once a year, hire a professional to clean the inside of your dryer and the ventilation system. If you notice that it is taking much longer for your clothes to get dry, clean the ventilation system as soon as possible to ensure that the air is properly flowing.
- Replace any vinyl or plastic exhaust hoses with new, metal venting.
- Do not put any clothes in the dryer that contain flammable solutions, such as gasoline, alcohol, spot removers, cooking oils, or cleaning solvents. Always thoroughly wash these items first to ensure that the vapors do not ignite and explode while in the dryer.
- Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before installing or using a clothes dryer.
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