You may not think about fire safety for your dryer, but it’s an important consideration all homeowners should keep in mind. Your dryer dries clothes by applying heat from a heating element or gas burner. When hot, dry air interacts with lint left over from several drying cycles, and it can cause a fire hazard.
Consider adding dryer cleaning to your home maintenance list to ensure that your dryer will not cause a fire when it’s working hard, cycle after cycle. Cleaning the lint trap is one of the major ways you can avoid one of the most common causes of household fires. Clean the lint out of the trap after every cycle, and then go one step further every once in a while.
- Use a dryer vent brush – you can find one at a local big box store – and a vacuum cleaner with a needle nosed attachment to clean down in the trap area where the screen hasn’t picked up all the excess lint. Removing this lint is key to preventing lint from catching fire when the dryer gets incredibly hot. You may also want to check the vent connection that leads from the dryer to the outside of the home routinely. It should be securely and properly connected inside the home, without internal obstruction. Some heating and air companies and cleaning companies may offer dryer cleaning as part of their services.
- Many dryer fires start in the exhaust channel away from the dryer. These fires are incredibly dangerous because they can easily reach the walls and start a fire in the home itself. All it takes is one spark for a dryer fire to get out of control and cost injury and damage. Dryer vent safety maintenance and precautions are easy ways to prevent home fires and to ensure that your dryer is working efficiently. As an added precaution, always turn off your dryer before leaving the home.
We at EDC are passionate about our goal to educate the general public about creating and maintaining safe home conditions. Dryer safety is one area in which we see homeowners unknowingly putting themselves at risk. If you’d like to learn more about preventing dryer fires, please give EDC Professional Home Inspections a call at 407-417-2999.