8 Simple Ways to Prevent Dryer Vent Fires

Did you know that one of America’s most common appliances the leading cause of house fires in the country?

Dryers are used in millions of American homes every single day, but when not used correctly or cleaned appropriately, they can be the cause of devastating house fires, some of which have even been known to claim lives.

To keep you, your home and all of its occupants safe, follow these 8 simple dryer tips:

  1. Always get your dryer professionally installed

You might think you can save money by installing your new dryer yourself, but one small mistake can be all it takes to put your entire home in jeopardy. Always have a certified electrician or engineer install it for you.

  • Regularly clean the lint filter

As many as 35% of dryer fires are reported to have been started due to a lack of proper lint filter cleaning. Clean the filter regularly; ideally, after each load.

  • Don’t overload the dryer

Excess weight can not only cause your dryer to break down, but can cause the temperature of the unit to rise, increasing the risk of a fire.

  • Get your dryer vents cleaned regularly

When your dryer vent is clogged with lint, air flow is significantly reduced and can cause your dryer to become less efficient. Perhaps more worryingly built-up lint can also ignite within the dryer cabinet and cause a potentially deadly fire. Having a specialist dryer technician clean your dryer vents thoroughly at least once a year (or as often as required, should you notice that your dryer isn’t running as efficiently), will help keep your dryer safe and performing well.

  • Clean the exhaust vent regularly

An accumulation of lint in the hoses could lead to a major blockage, restricting airflow and preventing your unit from receiving appropriate ventilation. In turn, this can lead to a fire breaking out within your dryer. Check for air being released when your dryer is running, and if you suspect it isn’t functioning as it should, have a technician come out and take a look – after all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • Don’t run the dryer when you’re not at home

Unattended dryers are a recipe for disaster, and if a fire starts when you’re not at home (or even when you’re asleep), it could have devastating results for you, your home and anyone inside the property.

  • Don’t place your dryer against a wall

It’s vital to give your dryer adequate ventilation to prevent it from overheating and catching alight, and this can only be achieved by leaving enough space between the back of the dryer and the wall.

  • Check what you’re putting inside your dryer

Placing items inside the dryer that aren’t suitable – such as anything with sequins or gemstones (they can melt and catch alight), or heavy items like comforters (which can overload the drum and cause it to overheat) – can damage your clothes and increase the risk of a fire starting within the dryer.

Having your dryer vents cleaned professionally is one of the single most effective ways to prevent a fire from breaking out in any of your dryer’s components, but follow all 8 of the above steps, and you can rest assured your dryer won’t put anyone’s lives or property at risk.