One of the most common fires reported in buildings that house families involves a clothes dryer. It might seem that a device we use all the time would not be the source of potentially fatal fires, but the fact remains that dryers, as with any source of combustion, are primarily dangerous because of improper use or maintenance. On average, there are more than 15,000 dryer fires every year.
So, how do we prevent a dryer fire? Here are some useful tips:
– Lint is the primary cause of dryer fires, so clean the lint filter after every load
– Don’t use the dryer when you’re away from the house
– Make certain the dryer is vented to the exterior of your home or apartment
– Keep the laundry area clutter-free (even behind the washer and dryer)
– Get the laundry machines professionally maintained once a year
– Make certain the dryer is properly connected to the proper electrical source and outlet
If drying is taking longer and longer over time, that may be a sign that something is amiss. Don’t let little issues erupt into bigger, more serious problems.
And as always, if you sense there is a fire, evacuate the building and dial 9-1-1.