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.

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