My daughter could smell something burning. She walked into the laundry and opened the dryer. Red hot embers were glowing in the vent at the back! Had she not been home, we likely would have burned the house down!
Did you know that the most common cause of house fires is the clothes dryer? More than 15,000 fires are caused every year by clothes dryers, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Lint can build up in your dryer vent, reducing air flow to the dryer, causing it to overheat and creating a fire hazard.
The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean (32%), followed by unclassified mechanical failure or malfunction (22%). Eight percent were caused by some type of electrical failure or malfunction.
Dryer Safety tips
- Make sure you clean the lint filter every time you use your dyer.
- Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
- Make sure that there are no kinks in your dryer vent. If you have a soft, flexible vent that kinks easily, have the more rigid vent installed.
- One of the most common spots for blockages is the exit on the wall or roof. This usually has a wire cage to prevent animals from getting in to your house, but lint tends to build up over time and can become completely blocked. 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.
- 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.