When we think about fire safety and prevention, we often think about candles tipping over or stove burners catching fire. We don’t often think about washing and drying clothes as a trigger for a household fire! The truth is, laundry is an everyday part of our lives, and dryer fires are a very real thing.
Dyer Safety Tips
It is crucial to keep your dryer well maintained and cleaned to prevent fires from occurring. Here are five safety tips to use to prevent dryer fires in your home.
Have the dryer installed correctly.
A dryer needs proper ventilation that pushes outside. The exhaust is too humid to vent inside your home or attic. An improperly installed dryer vent can lead to mold and mildew problems because of excess moisture. While this won’t lead to a fire, improper electrical outlets that are not equipped to handle the power of a dryer, can. Make sure the outlet is grounded and at least 220V.
Clean the lint filter between every load of laundry.
Lint is the most common reason for dryer fires. Lint is collected in a lint trap, which typically sits by the heating elements of a dryer. Temperatures can reach 550 degrees, and lint is extremely flammable. Get in the habit of cleaning out the dryer lint, but also clean the outside of the dryer of any lint as well.
Do not overload your dryer.
It is easy to try to stuff as much clothing as possible into a washer and dryer for the sake of time. However, overloading a dryer will cause it to work harder than necessary. This can lead to friction in the mechanics, which can eventually cause a spark that could lead to a potential fire.
Inspect all gas lines.
If you own a gas powered dryer, it is imperative that a professional install the machine and connect the lines. Gas leaks can be incredibly dangerous and can cause many different problems, including fires.
Use the right materials for ventilation tubes.
There are specific tubes created for dryer vents. These are typically made of material that is fire and heat proof. Do not use any other materials for dryer vents because they’re not guaranteed to be fireproof.