Tips to Help Preventing Dryer Fires

Many people don’t think about the fire danger that their clothes dryer can present, but it is a very common cause of home fires.  Lint tends to be extremely flammable and if it builds up in any part of the dryer, this can easily cause a fire.  To prevent dryer fires, there are a few basic steps you can take.

First of all, always clean out the lint trap, after every load of laundry.  Besides helping prevent dryer fires, this also has the added benefit of keeping your clothes cleaner.  To most thoroughly clean the lint trap, remove the lint, and then vacuum the mesh with a handheld vacuum cleaner.  Then wash it out, using a mild detergent or dish soap.  If you use dryer sheets fairly often, you may need to scrub the lint trap gently to get rid of the buildup.  Let the lint drip dry completely before you put it back in the dryer.

In addition to cleaning the lint trap, make sure your dryer is actually venting to the outdoors.  Check the vents to make sure that lint has not built up there.  If it does tend to build up, there are many different dryer cleaning kits you can buy to make sure that your vents are free of build-up.  This is essential to prevent dryer fires, which can happen anywhere within the dryer.

Use your dryer on the lowest setting possible to dry your clothes.  Most types of clothing do not need an extremely high setting and the higher the heat, the higher the chance of a fire.  Use lower temperatures whenever possible.

Finally, to prevent dryer fires, make sure you have metal venting, not plastic.  Either rigid or flexible metal venting will work, but plastic or vinyl exhaust hoses can actually increase the chance of dryer fire

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