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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Prevent a Dryer Fire at Your Salem Home

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Picture shows a close-up of a lint tray filled with dryer lint. Cleaning out the lint tray significantly decreases fires caused by the unit.

Ugh, laundry day. It no one’s favorite chore. Yet, it needs done. But that normal household appliance known as the dryer can be pretty dangerous. Did you that, according to Erie Insurance, “dryers cause roughly 15,500 home structure fires, 29 deaths, 400 injuries and $192 million in direct property loss each year? What’s more, most dryer fires happen in the winter.” I bet you are now thinking about your dryer. Gosh, when was the last time you really cleaned it? Allow SERVPRO of North Columbiana County give you some tips on how to clean one of the biggest fire hazards in your home.

Why does a dryer fire happen? Well. The lint trap can only do so much. Small pieces of clothing, lint, dirt, and dander get passed the trap and build up and catch fire in the heating element or exhaust duct. This especially happens when you have an upstairs laundry room versus placing the unit in the basement. When the unit is in the basement, the hose generally goes right outside. When the unit is upstairs, the hose just got a whole lot longer. Twists and tangles in the dryer hose make the lint work harder to get through, and eventually it gets stuck somewhere in the hose. Here is how you can prevent that at your home.

  • Clean the lint. Every single time. Yes…I’m talking to you, husbands. Cleaning out the lint tray significantly decreases fires caused by the unit. You should also get into the habit of taking down the hose and clearing the pathway periodically.
  • Follow the directions. Make sure you are following the manufacture’s instructions to a “T”. Try and make the dryer hose as straight as possible without a lot of bends and twists. This will prevent the lint from clogging up, as described above. If that just isn’t possible…have a licensed electrician install a dyer vent fan. These automatic electric devices speed up airflow through the duct every time you turn on your dryer to keep things moving along. 
  • Clear fire hazards. If you have anything combustible near the dyer. Move it far out of the way. Making sure the entire area is clear of dust, detergents and bleaches is ideal.
  • Get a metal dryer duct. The plastic ones tend to bend and sag and can lead to lint buildup at low points. A metal duct will keep its shape and stops fire more efficiently than a plastic or flexible foil duct.
  • Read the care tags on items before drying. Some things cannot be dried at all. Or some items may even contain rubber ingredients that cannot be dried on high heat. Make sure to peek at all tags, but especially things like bathmats, carpets, bras, and baby bibs.
  • Wet clothing after drying is a telltale sign something is not working right. Make sure to double check for plugged exterior vents and clean the dryer vent.
  • Turn the dryer off before you leave. Never leave a dryer running if you are not home.

SERVPRO of North Columbiana County is the #1 fire restoration company in the area. Fire caused by a dryer is devastating for your family and your home. It’s a stressful and confusing time, so you’ll need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. Our professionals will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always treat your home and belongings with great care.

SERVPRO of North Columbiana County has the water and fire damage training and expertise to help you through this tough time. Once the fire department leaves, your Salem home may suffer from water damage caused by firefighting efforts. We have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire and water damage and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (330) 921-4931

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