Prevent Clothes Dryer Fires
Doing laundry is most likely part of your everyday 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.
The Colorado Springs Fire Department wants to remind you that the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them. An estimated 2,900 home dryer fires happen every year in the US, causing 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
Simple things can make life saving changes. Make sure you have your dryer installed & serviced by a licensed professional. With our ever-changing weather in Colorado Springs, frequently check the outdoor vent flap to make sure it is not covered by snow, leaves or other debris. Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies, and clothing. If any of your clothes come in contact with flammable substances like gas, paint thinner, or similar solvents, they should be laid outside to dry, then washed and dried as usual.
FAILURE TO CLEAN is the #1 reason that a clothes dryer catches on fire. Take the time to check your lint trap and exhaust vent pipe and that your dryer is properly grounded.
Action Steps You Can Take:
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
- 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
*Source National Fire Protection Association
You can download and print this dryer fire safety flyer.