According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2010 an estimated 16,800 home fires involved laundry machines, resulting in 51 deaths, 380 injuries, and $236 million in property damages. 92% of these fires were due to clothes dryers, with the leading cause being failure to clean the machines (32%). Moreover, it didn’t matter what type of source was used, electric or gas, the risk of fire was the same for both (nfpa.org). I’m sure everyone wants to protect their houses and families, but what steps can be taken to reduce the risk of dryer fires? Here are some tips to help you and your family stay safe:
1. Never use your dryer without a lint filter.
2. Always clean your dryer’s filter before you run a new load.
3. Never run your dryer when you’re asleep or away from home.
4. Always keep a fire extinguisher near the dryer.
5. Make sure the transition hose (from the dryer to the vent) is a metal, not plastic. It’s best to use rigid metal, if possible, not semi-rigid or metal foil which will not contain a fire as well.
6. Periodically check the outside vent cover to make sure the flaps can open and shut freely, without obstruction.
7. Never leave combustible items, such as lint, paper, clothes, etc. behind or around the dryer.
8. Make sure the correct plug and outlet is being used for an electric dryer and that gas pipes are in good condition and leak free, for a gas dryer.
Lint easily builds up in a dryer vent.
9. Clean your dryer vents regularly. Lint is extremely combustible! It’s important to have your dryer vents cleaned with a professional cleaning system every 6 months to a year, depending on the use of the machine. Having your dryer vents cleaned also helps your dryer run more efficiently. If your clothes are taking several cycles to dry completely, it's a good indication that your vents need to be cleaned.
Steamway Craftsmen Cleaning Services, in Ames, Iowa, cleans air ducts with a reliable, professional system that gets your vents lint free and keeps your family safe. Call Steamway Craftsmen at 515-232-8938. We’ve been serving the Ames, Iowa area for over 40 years, and would love to serve you!
1602 E. Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010