Dryer Do's and Don't's to Prevent House Fires
How often should you clean the lint buildup in your dryer? If you answered after every load, you are correct! This is the easiest way to prevent a house fire. Amazingly, doing this small, seemingly insignificant task, can end up saving your home and possibly your life.
There are approximately 2,900 home clothes dryer fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Dryer fires can be detrimental to you, your family, and your home. Take precautions to reduce the risk for home fires by following the do’s and don’t’s of dryer maintenance and identifying the signs of a clogged dryer.
- Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional.
- Make sure the correct electrical plug and outlet are used and that the dryer is connected properly.
- Read manufacturers' instructions and warnings in use and care manuals that come with new dryers.
- Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. In addition, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged.
- Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months.
- Have your dryer cleaned regularly by a professional, especially if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry.
- Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
- Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow, and dirt.
- Don’t use a dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged, or clogged.
- Don’t overload the dryer.
- Don’t use a wire screen or cloth to cover the wall damper. They can collect lint and clog the dryer vent.
- Don’t dry anything containing foam, rubber, or plastic, like a bathroom rug with a rubber backing.
- Don’t dry glass fiber materials (unless manufacturers' instructions allow).
- Don’t dry items that have come into contact with anything flammable like alcohol, cooking oils, or gasoline. Dry them outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, away from heat.
- Don’t leave a clothes dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.
Warning Signs Your Dryer is Clogged and May Cause a Fire
- If it takes longer than about 45 minutes to dry your clothing, it could be a sign that the dryer vent is clogged.
- Your clothes are roasting hot to the touch after they have gone through a dry cycle.
- The flapper on the dryer's vent may not open entirely when the appliance is on.
For those homeowners who aren't lucky to catch the warning signs in time, fire damage can be daunting to clean up on your own. Professionals of SERVPRO of Northwest Orlando can work on your home's fire restoration when it is most convenient for you. Make sure to contact SERVPRO at the first sign of fire damage so that issues are resolved immediately. We’re available 24/7 and can respond immediately. Call us at (407) 698-5155.