Can You Avoid a Clothes Dryer Fire?
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.