In a sad turn of events, a friend of mine recently lost her home to a fire that started from her dryer. Yes, her family had insurance, but the aftermath was awful. Watching her family of four being displaced, losing everything – aside from the clothes they were wearing – was heartbreaking. I’m ashamed to say her experience had me running to clean my own vent system – something I rarely do 😮
Did you know:
There are thousands of fires annually caused by clothes dryers. Unfortunately, these fires account for scores of personal injuries and cause millions in property damage each year.
Lack of maintenance is the number one reason for dryer fires, according to Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a respected product testing organization. When consumers do not clean the lint traps or vent systems, they are running the risk of fire.
In recent years, the UL has changed its standards for electric dryers to recommend that consumers clean lint traps and lint from around the lint screen and routing wiring. For more information on dryer maintenance, visit www.ul.com.
Here are some dryer do’s and don’ts to help keep you safe:
- DO: Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry.
- DO:Regularly clean the area behind the dryer where lint can get trapped as well.
- DO:Hire a qualified service technician to clean the interior of the dryer and venting system on a periodic basis.
- DO:Replace plastic or vinyl exhaust hoses with metal venting.
- DO:Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow all of the safety instructions.
- DO NOT:Dry clothing or fabrics that contain flammable solutions such as alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline, spot removers and dry cleaning solvents. These substances give off vapours that can ignite and explode.
- DO NOT:Overload your dryer. Overloading not only causes drying to be delayed, it may also cause the dryer to break down.