Dryer Fire Safety – It’s Not Just About Dryer Vent Cleaning
National Fire Prevention Month is meant to raise awareness about fire safety and help ensure your home and family are prepared in case of a fire. It is the perfect time to test your smoke detectors and change their batteries. In the event of a fire, you and your family will have as little as two minutes or less to escape safely. This is why the early warning signal sent out by your smoke detectors is so important. In addition to properly working smoke detectors, taking steps to prevent a home fire from starting in the first place is the best way to keep your home and family safe. One of the most commonly overlooked and dangerous home fire hazards is in your laundry room. It’s your dryer. National Fire Prevention Month can be the perfect time to schedule a professional complete dryer clean out, including dryer vent cleaning. There are also steps you can take throughout the year to neutralize this laundry room fire hazard.
Keep the Lint Filter Clean
This may seem like a simple task, but this fire prevention tip can have a significant impact on your home’s safety. Cleaning your lint filter is not a weekly or monthly task. It needs to be done every time you use your dryer, either before or after each load. A build-up in the lint filter can trap warm air and cause the dryer motor to overheat. That build-up of lint will act as kindling to spark a dryer fire which will escalate quickly, engulfing your laundry room and spreading to the rest of your home. Keeping the lint filter clean will also increase the efficiency of your dryer. Your clothes will dry faster, saving you time and reducing energy costs. Be sure to inspect your lint filter periodically for rips or tears and order a replacement filter immediately if you discover any damage.
Use Your Dryer Properly
Operating your dryer safely involves knowing what can and can’t go into it. Avoid putting in any plastics, foams, rubber, or any clothes that have come into contact with flammable liquids. There are a variety of stains that contain flammable substances including gasoline, cleaning agents, paint thinners and even cooking oil. You should wash clothing stained with these types of substances twice and line dry them if possible. If it is necessary to use the dryer, use the lowest temperature setting and a drying cycle that ends with a cool-down period. If a fire should start, do not open the dryer, as the sudden rush of oxygen will cause the fire to accelerate. Call 911 to dispatch the fire department. Also, make sure to avoid overfilling the dryer and don’t leave it running when leaving the house.
Dryer Vent Cleaning
It seems simple enough. Be careful what you put in the dryer and keep your lint filter clean, but there is another fire hazard associated with your dryer. It’s the dryer vent. Because it’s not readily visible when using the dryer, it is often overlooked. Your dryer’s lint filter doesn’t catch everything. Fine particles of dust and lint find their way into the dryer exhaust hose, which leads to the vent that allows heat to escape. If the lint builds up to the point where the heat becomes trapped, it can lead to a dryer fire. That exhaust hose not only needs to be kept clean but it is also important that it be straight and unrestricted. A bent or kinked exhaust hose is a great place for lint to become trapped and restrict airflow from the dryer to the vent. This creates the perfect environment for a dryer fire. Periodical dryer vent cleaning is necessary to prevent lint build-up and ensure your exhaust hose is in good condition.
The Hidden Danger
While there are numerous companies advertising the importance of dryer vent cleaning, you need to go beyond just cleaning the lint filter and dryer vent to eliminate the risk of a dryer fire. Not all the lint that escapes the lint filter, makes it to the dryer vent. Much of it gets stuck inside the dryer itself. This is where the least obvious and biggest risk of a dryer fire exists. Many homeowners assume that whatever lint isn’t trapped by the filter is blown out through the dryer vent. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The lint that builds up inside the machine poses the biggest fire hazard as it is closest to the heat source. Cleaning out the dryer itself, along with the other dryer maintenance tips is the best defense against a dryer fire.
Professional Dryer Clean Out
Although some DIY websites may suggest that homeowners can do their own dryer clean out, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. In order to clean out your dryer, you need to open up the machine, exposing the mechanics and wiring. Without the proper training and experience, you could do more harm than good. To protect yourself from dryer fires, skip DIY dryer clean out and dryer vent cleaning. Hire appliance maintenance experts instead. Jersey Coast Appliance has a team of professional appliance service technicians, master technicians and certified support personnel dedicated to serving our customers with honesty and integrity.
We are the one-stop-shop for purchasing and maintaining your household appliances. We carry most major brands and have a wide variety of replacement parts in stock, including Kenmore replacement parts. In addition to our regular repair service, we also offer Night Owl Service and 24/7 Emergency service. To protect yourself from a potential dryer fire, schedule professional dryer vent cleaning today.