The Clothes Dryer: A Potential Fire Hazard
There’s perhaps nothing scarier for homeowners than the ignition of an unwanted fire in the home. When we consider our ideas of the most frequent catalysts of residential fires, the laundry room is most likely not included in that list. A whopping 92% of residential fires originate from an object in the laundry room, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. It may come as a surprise that this object is something that you use on a daily basis: the clothes dryer. Because fires have the ability to spread rapidly to other rooms and areas of the home, it is crucial to learn why clothes dryers can ignite fires and understand what steps you can take to protect your home.
Clean That Lint Filter!
One of the leading causes of clothes dryer fires is neglecting to clean the lint filter, a simple action that only takes seconds. It’s important to clean out the lint filter because lint is highly flammable and with each load, more and more lint accumulates in the lint filter. Additionally, too much lint in the filter can prevent proper airflow, which increases the risk for fire. Therefore, be sure to clean out your dryer’s lint filter between every load. It isn’t sufficient to only clean it out once a week or even once every few days. It’s a small action that can protect your home from disaster in the long run.
Other Ways to Prevent Dryer Fires
In addition to cleaning the lint filter daily, it is also crucial to take several other precautions in order to lower the chances of a fire igniting in your laundry room.
- Pay Close Attention To Clothing Labels
Be sure to check tags for drying instructions on every item that you intend to put in your dryer. Often, tags will tell you the specific heat setting required for that particular item, which can range anywhere from “tumble dry low” to “high heat”. Following these instructions is incredibly important. Some items that require a low drying temperature can contain types of rubber and, if exposed to high heat, the likelihood of a fire igniting may increase.
- Check the Outdoor Vent Flap
While we’re most familiar with managing the dryer inside of the house, it’s important to remember that dryers have outdoor vent flaps as well. This vent flap plays a key role in filtering out lint and hot air from the dryer. As a result, a fire can ignite if the vent flap becomes obstructed. Check your vent flap for debris on a regular basis in order to prevent an unwanted fire.
- Move Flammable Objects Away from the Dryer
In many homes, the laundry room stores general cleaning supplies for the household. However, keeping cleaning supplies located in close proximity to the dryer is risky, as cleaning materials are generally highly flammable. In the event that a fire ignites in the clothes dryer, the fire can spread quickly if there are other flammable materials nearby. Therefore, while it is best that cleaning supplies be stored in another room, be sure to at least keep them a safe distance from the dryer.
If Disaster Strikes…
While it’s a hard reality to face, it’s important to understand that unexpected fires can ignite, even if you take precautions. In the event that your home experiences fire damage as a consequence of a dryer fire, look no further than SERVPRO. We respond immediately and our experienced team of fire damage specialists will restore your home quickly and thoroughly. Damage to your home as a result of a fire is often a stressful and upsetting situation, but know that SERVPRO will be there every step of the way until your home is back to normal. Call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County today and for more information about our fire damage services, click here.