Thousands of house fires are started every year by clothes dryers, resulting in deaths, injuries, and millions of dollars in property damage. Most of these fires could be prevented by properly maintaining your clothes dryer. It’s essential to understand what causes dryer fires and how you can prevent them from happening in your own home. The leading cause of fires starting in a clothes dryer was an accumulation of dust, fiber, or lint due to clogged vents. Here are some tips for preventing dryer fires.
Clean Out the Lint
A clogged lint filter is the leading cause of residential dryer fires. Each time you unload the dryer, make sure to clean out the lint filter. Before putting the next load of laundry in, double-check that the filter is spotless to reduce your risk of fire. A clean lint trap allows the dryer to run more efficiently, thus drying your clothes faster while also preventing your appliance from overheating.
Inspect Ducts Regularly
Clogged ducts frequently cause dryer fires. To ensure your dryer runs properly, inspect your ducts about once a month to check for any blockages. Some key indicators that your ducts are clogged include:
- Your clothes won’t dry
- Exhaust air does not exit the vent
- You believe your machine is overheating
Sometimes, a blockage happens because the venting system is malfunctioning. Other times, blockages may occur because of a buildup of lint, animals nesting in the vents, or snow covering the outside vents.
Replace Faulty Ducts
Be sure to replace your accordion-style aluminum ductwork with solid metal ductwork. The aluminum ductwork is notorious for trapping lint in the ridges or low points if they bend or twist. Rigid metal ducts have smooth walls which allow proper airflow and reduce buildup. Be sure to use clamps or tape to combine sections rather than sheet metal screws which can also catch lint.
Don’t Overload the Dryer
Trying to fit too many wet clothes or towels into a dryer can cause excess amounts of lint to accumulate. Since lint buildup reduces your dryer’s ability to ventilate, the machine may quickly overheat and start a fire. Read the owner’s manual for your appliance to determine your machine’s maximum hold to ensure you aren’t overfilling it.
At Judd Fire Protection, your safety is our top priority. We make it our mission to save lives and protect property, and we offer a wide variety of residential fire protection services to provide peace of mind in the case of an emergency. Reach out today to learn more!
Commercial and Residential Fire Prevention from Judd Fire Protection
If you want to ensure your home and business are safe throughout the year, trust Judd Fire Protection, LLC. We have over two decades of experience designing, installing, inspecting, and repairing residential and commercial fire protection systems. We serve clients throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. If you are interested in finding out more about our services and protecting your home and business, give us a call at 410-871-3480 or contact us online. For more fire safety tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.