The leading cause of clothes dryer fires is the failure to clean the appliance, lint filter and vent. With a few simple safety tips you can help prevent a clothes dryer fire.
- Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
- Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
- Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
- Vent the dryer outdoors using rigid or flexible metal material to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
- Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flaps open freely when the dryer is operating. In winter, check to be sure the outdoor vent flaps are not covered by snow or ice.
- Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
- Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
- Make sure the right electrical plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly. Dryers should be properly grounded.
- Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
- Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
- As dryers create a lot of heat, keep the area around the dryer clear of boxes, cleaning supplies, clothing, papers, etc.
- Let clothes that have been soaked with flammable liquids like gasoline or paint thinner dry completely before washing and drying as usual.