Fire Prevention Week 2011 – Clothes Dryers

Day 7 of Fire Prevention Week and we’re at the last day of providing fire prevention and fire safety tips. Today we’re going to focus on the hazards associated with clothes dryers.

Did you know the top cause of fires started by clothes dryers, was failure to simply keep them clean? Follow these simple tips to minimize the chance of a clothes dryer fire.

  • Always make sure the lint filter is clean and don’t operate the dryer without the filter. Make sure the interior is free of lint.
  • Use rigid or flexible metal exhaust duct. Never use exhaust duct made of plastic or any material that is capable of burning.
  • If you notice clothes are taking a longer time to dry, check interior and exterior exhaust vent openings. At the interior opening, check for excessive lint build-up or any other foreign material obstructing the passageway. At the exterior opening make sure the outdoor vent flaps open when the dryer is operating. Make sure the opening is free of foreign material (ice, snow, bird nests, etc.). If you notice excessive lint build-up you may need to hire a professional to clean. The vents should be checked at least once a year or more if necessary.
  • Keep the dryer free and clear of materials that could potentially burn (clothes, boxes, cleaning supplies, etc.)
  • Any rags or clothes in contact with flammable materials (paints, solvents, gas, etc.) should first be laid to dry outdoors, then washed, and last in the clothes dryer.
  • Maintain dryers in good operating condition. Gas dryers should be inspected as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure gas lines and fittings are tight and free of leaks.
  • Make sure the correct plug and electrical outlets are used and the dryer is connected per manufacturer instructions.
  • Always follow operating instructions from the manufacturer. Avoid overloading the dryer.
  • This is the last day of Fire Prevention Week 2011. We hope you enjoyed our series. Make sure to always follow good safety practice throughout the year.

  • Fire Prevention Week 2011 – Electrical Safety

    Day 6 of Fire Prevention Week. Today we”re going to focus on electrical safety.

    Did you know the top causes of electrical fires are faulty electrical systems, lamps/light fixtures/light bulbs, and extension cords? Electrical fires contribute on average 24,000 home fires per year with approximately 320 fatalities and 830 injuries.

    Follow these tips to minimize the chance of electrical fires occurring in your home.

  • Consider hiring a qualified electrician to conduct an inspection of your entire electrical system when buying or making renovations to your home.
  • Have a qualified electrician vist your home if circuit breakers trip or fuses blow frequently, experience any tingling when touching appliances, outlet are warm or discolored, lights are flickering, and sparks are coming from outlets.
  • Replace damaged electrical cords and power supply units.
  • Don”t run extension cords under carpets, mats, or doorways. Don”t rely on extension cords to be a permanent power solution. Consider additional electrical outlets if feasible.
  • If you have young children provide tamper covers for all electrical outlets.
  • Dont”t overload electrical outlets. Any type of heat generating appliance (hair dryer, coffee maker, toaster, etc.), should be plugged in one at a time directly to the electrical receptacle.
  • Lamps should be placed on sturdy level surfaces. Never hang or place anything on top of, or near lamps and light fixtures. Radian heat from lamps or fixtures are a potential ignition source to start fire. Make sure replacement bulbs and fixtures match the recommended wattage.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) provide protection from electrical shock. GFCIs should be provided in all bathrooms, kitchens, laundry, basement, and outdor areas.
  • Consider installing Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). AFCIs are designed to continuously monitor electrical current in a circuit and minimize the potential of arcing as a potential ignition source. IF the AFCI detects any unintended arcing it will trip and shutdown the circuit.
  • Join us our last day tomorrow as Fire Prevention Week 2011 comes to a successful conclusion.

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