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A Checklist to Prevent Clothing Dryer Fires

Did you know that there are close to 3,000 home dryer fires reported each year? They cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. It is vital to keep your clothing dryer clean in order to prevent fires, but there are other factors that come into play as well.

dryer with full lint trap

Have Your Dryer Professionally Installed

When your dryer is professionally installed, you know that these installers are knowledgeable about all types of units. They know how to install gas and electric dryers, plus washer/dryer combos. These techs know manufacturer recommendations and how to install ventilation systems. They can also explain how reducing bends in the ventilation pipe is important in creating fewer opportunities for lint to gather.

If the distance from your vent to dryer is long, a dryer vent fan may be necessary. This keeps the airflow moving each time the dryer runs – preventing the lint from gathering inside the vent pipe and any potential fire hazard.

Keep Surrounding Area Free Of Flammable Materials

While dryer lint is a flammable material, it isn’t the only material that should be kept clear of the dryer unit. Anything flammable should be swept up and thrown away before it becomes a fire hazard. Any dust and lint should be vacuumed as quickly as possible to prevent the possibility of a fire.

Keep any cleaning products and clutter away from the dryer as they could cause a fire to spread.

Have Your Dryer Serviced Regularly

A dryer fire is caused due to the failure to clean and maintain them. When was the last time you looked behind your dryer? If you check behind the machine, you may notice a build up of lint and dust. These are some of the main culprits of dryer fires. You should also clean out those areas annually. Hoses and vents should be inspected for any blockages in spring and fall.

A professional service call can be necessary to clean the interior of the dryer on an annual basis for extra protection to minimize the amount of lint that accumulates in the chassis.

Always Clean the Lint Filter

The most common source of a dryer fire is household lint and dust. The lint filter sits closely to the heating elements (which can reach temperatures close to 550*!). Be sure to clean out the lint trap after each load of laundry before starting the dryer again.

Never run your dryer without a lint filter!

Most clothing dryer manufacturers recommend the use of a flexible or rigid metal venting materials for airflow. Using accordion style ductwork can trap lint and create clogs, which lead to blockages and a potential house fire.

Research the type of material recommended for your specific dryer by the manufacturer before purchasing. Most materials can be purchased from home improvement shops, and employees are always willing to answer questions!

If you do experience fire damage due to dryer or other cause, Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration is here to help. We provide free services to inspect the extent of the damage caused by the fire and then walk you through the rest of the process before you take additional steps. Sometimes it’s not necessary to involve your insurance company and increase your rates. At Alpha Omega, we will talk you through this entire process.

Call us if you experience any fire damage and need a restoration company immediately!

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