Fires can start for any number of reasons in the home: bad wiring, candles, chimneys, lit cigarettes or a forgotten pot of food left cooking on the stove. You’re probably mindful of all these potential fire hazards and careful not to allow the type of conditions that lead to a fire to occur in your home. But there’s one fire hazard you may not have thought about — a fire in the dryer vent. It certainly bears giving it some thought and some care to prevent this type of fire from occurring in your home.
More than 2,900 home dryer fires occur each year in this country, and some of them are fatal. Here’s what you should know about preventing dryer vent fires:
What Causes Dryer Vent Fires
The main cause of fires in dryer vents is failing to clean them periodically. While you probably regularly check the filter in the dryer and remove the lint that collects there, some of that lint can also escape as hot air is exhausted through the dryer vent. Some may collect in the vent, where it may be ignited by sparks from static or other means.
What’s more, lint can collect around the dryer heating element, so that when it heats up, the lint may catch on fire.
Dryer Safety Rules
Follow these rules for safety with your dryer:
- Besides cleaning the filter, also clean the back of the dryer.
- The lint filter should not be clogged, damaged or loose. Never use the dryer without it.
- Check the vent pipe regularly, cleaning it at least every three months.
- Cover the dryer vent when not in use to keep out rain and snow.
- Check the vent regularly for animal nests.
- Keep the vent exhaust area free of any items that might catch on fire.
- Don’t leave the dryer running when you’re asleep or away from home.
- Test your smoke detectors regularly to make sure they are working properly.
For more on preventing your clothes dryer from becoming a fire hazard, contact Cool Power. We serve Long Island and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about fire hazards and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 631-292-0629.
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