It has been reported that as many as 15,500 HOME FIRES and 10 deaths were caused by clothes dryers each year. Several hundred people are subjected to carbon monoxide poisoning annually because of improperly maintained dryer vents. In some cases a faulty appliance was to be blamed but the majority of the time the problem was a lack of simple maintenance.
Lint accumulation is the major culprit. Lint is extremely combustible and as it builds up inside venting it restricts airflow, which causes the dryer to operate at a hotter temperature than it normally would.
It used to be that most dryers were located in the basement or on an outside wall. Now newer homes have the dryers on a first or second floor, in a closet or bathroom or a kitchen. These new locations mean that the vents for the dryers have to run longer distances and sometimes contain sharp bends or curves to pass around building features. This makes them harder for homeowners to clean and creates more places for lint to collect, increasing their hazard.
Dryer Fire Prevention Tips
2. While you have the lint filter out, check inside the compartment where the filter fits. Sometimes the filter doesn’t catch every bit of lint, and you will find additional lint in the filter compartment.
3. Replace old white plastic or foil venting with metal venting.
4. Maintain proper spacing between the dryer and the wall so as not to crush or crumple the venting.
5. Regularly have the dryer vent cleaned.
6. Make sure the dryer is vented to the outside and not into an attic or crawlspace.
7. Don’t assemble your dryer vent with screws that will protrude on the inside of the vent, making a nice, sharp obstacle for lint to collect on.
8. NEVER operate your dryer if you are leaving your home or going to bed!