Have You Thought About This Fire Hazard?

Have You Thought About This Fire Hazard?If you’re asked about the different risk factors for a house fire, a space heater, wood stove, unattended kitchen range or frayed extension cord might come to mind. Another potential fire hazard that you may not think of is the clothes dryer. According to FEMA, dryers are responsible for close to 3,000 fires every year, which cause an estimated 100 injuries and five fatalities.

Why Clothes Dryers are Fire Hazards

The two main underlying causes of dryer fires are build ups of dryer lint and long, complicated vents. It’s easy for highly-combustible lint to stick in a long vent that has sharp corners and turns. As the lint builds up, airflow becomes restricted, which increases the likelihood of a fire.

How to Limit the Dryer-Related Fire Hazard in Your Home

The first step in lowering your risk of dryer fires is having the appliance professionally installed. A pro knows to use rigid metal piping rather than a coiled-wire vent, and to as short a vent as possible and avoid sharp bends and turns.

Here are additional steps you can take to reduce the danger even more:

  • Clean the lint catcher after every dryer use, and give the vent interior a thorough cleaning every three months.
  • If the lint filter is missing, broker or cracked, or it doesn’t fit tightly into its niche anymore, stop using the dryer until you replace it.
  • Get the dryer and its vent inspected and cleaned annually by an experienced professional. If you have a gas model, get the gas line and connection inspected too.
  • Clean off the outdoor vent cover frequently, and make sure it’s not obstructed too. Then, turn on the dryer and check that the vent’s louvers are opening and hot air is escaping.
  • Never overload the appliance, or leave it unattended while it’s running.
  • Don’t attempt to dry foam, fiberglass or rubber items, or anything that may have gas, alcohol, oil or other flammable substances on it.

Contact us today at C.R. Wolfe Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more about the fire hazard posed by the clothes dryer in your Middletown home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Middletown, New York 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 845-367-4482.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “HypnoArt/Pixabay”

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