This article is very timely, as it is still Fire Prevention Month. Written by Carlos Hazbun, please pay attention to these excellent fire safety tips regarding clothes dryers. pb
House fires are one of the scariest situations that any homeowner could face. In order to best protect your family and your assets there are several things to keep in mind. Fire professionals recommend that you check your smoke alarms every month. Along with that advice it is also recommended that you change the batteries in your smoke alarms when the time changes each year. By following this simple advice you could save yourself thousands in damage but most importantly you could save the lives of your entire family.
However, along with your smoke alarms there is another area in your home that could potentially cause a fire. This area is used very often and is the number one cause of household fires. The area that you have probably overlooked is your clothes dryer. Dryer vents can collect copious amounts of lint. When coupled with the high temperatures associated with the dryer itself, this is a very combustible duo. There are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with your dryer vents. Following these simple steps could help to prevent a dangerous house fire.
The first step in the process of maintaining your dryer vents is to actually clean your lint trap. All dryers have a lint trap. Some lint traps are located inside the dryer itself while others are externally mounted. Regardless of the location of the lint trap it is recommended by most manufacturers that you remove and clean the screen in your lint trap after every 1-3 loads of clothes. This is a good rule of thumb to follow; however, when drying clothes that are larger and heavier, such as sweaters or sweat shirts; it is best to inspect the lint trap after each load has properly dried. By maintaining your lint trap you will reduce the amount of lint that is pulled out of the trap and into your vent duct.
The second area of concern when dealing with fire prevention safety, as it pertains to dryers, is to properly inspect the dryer ductwork every 2-3 months. At least once a year you should have your local appliance repair company clean out your ducts. This service in inexpensive and can save you from the threat of fire. It does take some time for lint deposits to build up inside the dryer duct but when this process is neglected it could lead to a potentially devastating house fire. Every dryer has a tube located on the back of the machine. This tube is attached to a larger tube that forces the exhaust of your dryer out of your home. When this tube becomes clogged with lint airflow is reduced, heat continues to build and, the results can be a fire. There are no chemicals or substances that can be used in this process. The only answer is to thoroughly inspect and clean these vents by hand. It may seem like a lot of work now but it could save you from a costly house fire in the future.
Again, our thanks to Carlos for these tips. Another reminder is to never leave your house with the dryer running. You have a lot to lose when you take this chance, in case a fire started. pb