Preventing Fires in Clothes Dryers

Preventing Fires in Clothes Dryers

Did you know that clothes dryers are a leading cause of household fires? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), local fire departments respond to an estimated 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year: 92% of these fires involved the clothes dryer, while combination washer/dryers accounted for 5% of the fires.

So what is it about clothes dryers that make them such a potent fire hazard? Accumulated lint. This material is very flammable, and it can build up both in the lint trap and in the venting system. Since dryers use heated air to work, and exhaust that air through the vents, any lint in the system has the potential to ignite.

How to Protect Your Home

Cleaning the lint trap of your dryer before each and every use can do a great deal to prevent fires. However, that is not the only cleaning you need to do to protect your home from this hazard. Experts recommend having your dryer vents professionally cleaned every 12 to 24 months.

In addition, know the warning signs that your dryer vents may need cleaning:

  • Your clothes take a long time to dry.
  • The dryer gets extra hot.
  • There is a burning smell when you run the machine.