Can You Avoid a Clothes Dryer Fire?
Clean the lint filter of your dryer
As dryer lint builds up in your clothes dryer, you'll have to deal with more than pesky bits of fluff falling out of the appliance. The lint invariably works its way deep inside the metal shell and negatively impacts the efficiency of the dryer. Your increased power and maintenance bills in Newcastle,WA, aren't the last things to worry about either. Perhaps the situation that should cause you the most concern is the growing possibility of a lint fire.
Did You Know?
There are many startling facts about home fires and clothes dryers from the United States Fire Administration.
- Nearly 3,000 home clothes dryer fires are reported every year.
- Failing to clean the dryer is the leading cause of those fires.
- The fires happen most often during the fall and winter.
- Each year these fires cause $35 million in property loss.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers several suggestions for preventing a lint fire. The first recommendation is to have your appliance installed and serviced by a professional. Don't run the dryer without a clean lint filter. Keep the back of the dryer clean and regularly check the venting system to be sure it is open and not damaged or restricted. Finally, make sure the outside vent covering opens when the dryer is running.
Cleaning the Lint Filter
How can you clean lint from the dryer? Of course, pulling the lint filter out and removing lint by hand is a convenient and simple task. If it's been awhile since you cleaned the back panel and the exhaust hose, you should unplug the dryer and use a vacuum or cloth to clean the interior and exhaust areas. This deeper clean should be completed every six months or more to avoid a dryer fire. From time to time, you should rinse the dryer screen and vacuum out the lint trap.
If you aren't sure how long it's been or how to proceed, you may want to contact a fire damage professional in your area for more tips and pointers. Ultimately, regular maintenance is one of the best steps toward avoiding a lint fire.
Which Fire Extinguisher Do You Need?
A fire extinguisher is an essential piece of fire preparedness equipment. A variety of extinguisher classes are available. Learn about the differences between the four classes of fire suppressants and multi-class models to choose the right extinguisher to put out any home fire.
Class A Extinguishers
Class A fire extinguishers are suitable for standard combustibles such as
These extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate. This chemical works to smother fires.
Class B Extinguishers
Class B fire suppressants are suitable for flammable liquids such as
Class B extinguishers combine monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate to smother and cause a chemical reaction that will put out fire.
Class C Extinguishers
A Class C fire extinguisher is designated for use with fires involving live electrical equipment. These extinguishers also contain monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate. The concentration of this nonconductive mixture may vary, and is formulated to pass standards set forth in UL711 and UL299.
Class D Extinguishers
Class D fire suppressants dispense a thick layer of inert agent over combustible or reactive metals such as
- Pyrophoric organometallic reagents
Most homeowners do not require a Class D extinguisher.
You may find multi-class fire extinguishers such as A-B extinguishers designed to combat fires caused by standard combustibles or flammable liquids. B-C extinguishers are similarly capable of suppressing fires fuel by liquids or electrical sources. A-B-C extinguishers are some of the most versatile residential fire suppressants. Depending on the part of your home where you plan to extinguish fires, you may want to choose a multi-class extinguisher for common fire hazards.
The right fire extinguisher can help you stop a home fire before it spreads and causes serious damage. If a fire causes damage to your home in East Renton Highlands,WA, rely on the expertise of fire and smoke damage restoration specialists.
When a Fire Strikes!
This fire loss occurred in the garage of a household due to a BBQ being left unattended.
A few years back, a couple of college students were attempting to make pasta for a quick and easy dinner before a long night of studying. They put the boiling water on the stove but quickly realized they would need to go to the store for pasta sauce, garlic bread, and Parmesan cheese - the essentials for any pasta dinner. Without even thinking, the pair left their apartment and headed across the small college town to get to the store. What did they forget to do? Turn off the stove before leaving. By the time they got back merely twenty minutes later, their kitchen was in flames and the fire department was already on scene. After the two were cleared to enter, they found their kitchen was in black, smoky shambles, and the rest of their apartment had a gray residue staining the walls and ceiling.
Unfortunately, fire damage is much more common than most would hope. Simple tasks like remembering to turn off the stove or blow out a candle can be quickly forgotten in the haste to get somewhere. In the case of those two college students, they were relatively lucky. A few years ago in Pullman, WA, a similar instance happened; however, that couple wasn’t so lucky. The fire caught two other apartment buildings, and ended up destroying three in total.
Now, how does one come back from something like this? Smoke residue can be a pain to get off walls and ceilings. Smoke will seep into the smallest cracks in dressers, closets, and shelves so that even when everything is clean and back to normal, clothes, shoes, and furniture will still smell of smoke.
The easiest way to take care of this is to call SERVPRO and handle all of the cleaning - from walls to teddy bears. Not only do we have a large team of trained technicians who can come out and clean the walls and ceilings, but we will also pack up any belongings and bring them back to our facility to be cleaned and deodorized; leaving you with nothing but peace of mind that your items will be taken care of by our skilled employees.
There are also very simple things homeowners can to do help prevent smoke and fire damage. These may seem like no-brainers, but even the smallest slip of the mind can have devastating consequences:
- Never burn candles on shelving or near a window.
- The heat from the candle can catch the shelving on fire, and the air from outside could possibly fuel the small flame.
- Make sure you have everything you need BEFORE you start cooking.
- One of the most common ways to start a kitchen fire is from forgetting to turn off the oven or stove top.
- Have windows open and a fan running when cooking
- This will decrease the chances of a grease fire happening.
Now, what happens if a fire does start? If it’s small enough, there are a few ways to keep it from spreading:
- Coil stove-top: if a small fire (a flame no bigger than your pinky nail) happens, turn off the stove and pour salt over the fire. NEVER use water. This could cause a bigger electrical fire.
- Grease fire: Smother the pan with a lid and immediately put the pan in the oven. DO NOT turn on the hood fan, as that will draw the flames to a condensed area and could cause a larger fire.
- Fire in the oven: the best way to put this out is with a fire extinguisher.
- Note: Avoid any grease build-up in your oven by regularly cleaning
If a fire starts in your home and cannot be controlled by smothering, leave the house immediately and call 9-1-1. Smoke inhalation is just as dangerous as a fire itself, so do not linger if the fire is out of control.
Once the fire is out and the damage has been assessed, call SERVPRO of Renton at 425-225-2227 to schedule a cost-free estimate and start getting your life back to normal.