Dryer fires are one of the leading causes of house fires in the US. According to the US Fire Administration, 2900 homes report dryer fires each year which results in a staggering $35 million in property loss, at least 100 injuries and 5 deaths. Additionally, negligence of dryer cleaning is the primary culprit for such fires, which are responsible for 34% of the dryer fires that are reported annually.
While some dryers do come with indicators aimed at alerting the owner when lint accumulation has blocked the vent, these indicators only signal you when the vents have been completely blocked. Partially blocked vents will go unnoticed by them. Keeping in mind the concerning dryer fire stats given above, we have taken up the responsibility to help you prevent dryer fires at all costs. With that said, here are 3 tips that will help you do so:
3 Safety Tips to Help You Prevent Dryer Fires
Clean the Dryer Duct at Least Once a Year
If your dryer takes longer to dry your clothes than it used to, it might be an indication of a blockage in your dryer vent channel. One way to confirm this is to head outside to check your exhaust duct and see if there is a noticeable outflow of warm exhaust air while a load is being dried in the dryer. If not, lint may have clogged the vent or exhaust duct.
Such a situation warrants an immediate cleaning of your dryer vents and ducts. Begin by unplugging the dryer and carefully pulling it away from the wall. In case of a gas dryer, remember to turn off the gas valve. Decouple the duct from the dryer and vacuum both of them. Once done, reassemble the duct and replace the dryer in its original position.
Replace the Standard Ducts
The back of most dryers has a 4-inch vent, which installers or DIY homeowners connect to the exterior vent via a duct. However, the type of duct used can play a major role in preventing dryer fires or promoting them.
In a majority of homes, the duct used to make the connection is either a foil or plastic accordion-like duct. The problem with these ducts is that they tend to sag due to the heat in doing so, allowing lint and debris to accumulate in the ridges and the low points of the duct. To counteract this problem, you should opt for a rigid metal duct that won't sag and will facilitate smooth airflow, thereby reducing the likelihood of lint buildup.
In addition, use foil tape or metal clamps to fix the duct cross-sections together instead of sheet metal screws as they tend to trap lint in their threads.
Handle Chemical Stains with Care
Clothes that have been stained by combustible substances such as cooking oil, gas, wine, cleaning agents, or other flammable substances might still have traces of the substance on them. Before putting any such clothes in your dryer, it is recommended to wash them twice to wash off any and all remaining traces thoroughly.
Following the three tips outlined above can help you prevent dryer fires. However, sometimes even the most sure-fire measures don't pan out well. In the unfortunate case that your property falls victim to a dryer fire, reach out to STOP Restoration of Spokane. We excel in fire restoration services. With our years of experience in the industry combined with top-notch gear, we will have your home restored to its pristine condition in no time. Call us now on 509-818-7744.