How to Prevent a Dryer Fire

If left unchecked, the lint buildup in your clothes dryer, can over time, pose a serious threat to your home, and cause a dryer fire.
Most dryers channel loose fibers into a filter or collector. Regardless, lint will still build up in your dryer vents over time.

What Causes Lint Build Up
• Lint naturally groups together, but your dryer usage and equipment could be encouraging clogs as well. Here are a few things to avoid:
• Long dryer vents. Long or curved dryer vents provide additional areas for lint to collect. Always try to keep your vent as short as possible.
• Plastic or foil duct extenders. Extenders made from flimsy materials are easily crushed and can cause buildup and blockage.
• Lack of space between the dryer and the wall. Placing your dryer too close to the wall can restrict airflow and crush your dryer vents.

The Warning Signs of Lint Buildup
• Clothes take longer and longer to dry.
• Clothes don’t fully dry.
• Clothes are hotter than normal at the end of the drying cycle.
• The outside of dryer gets very hot.
• The outside exhaust vent flapper does not open very much, indicating low exhaust velocity.
• Laundry room becomes more humid than it is usually.
• Burnt smell is evident in the laundry room.

Clean the Lint Filter
• Most filters are located toward the front of the dyer, or on the top corner.
• Slide the filter out and scrape away any lint. Use a vacuum to eliminate any lint in the lint trap (the space the filter slides into).
• Replace the filter after cleaning.
• Vacuum behind and under your dryer on a regular basis.

Periodically Clean the Dryer Vent and Ducting
• Check the outside dryer vent while the dryer is operating to make sure exhaust air is escaping. You should feel a strong discharge of moist warm air. If you do not feel a strong discharge of air, the vent or the exhaust duct may be blocked.
• It may be necessary to disconnect the exhaust duct from the dryer to remove a blockage in the exhaust path.
• Disconnect the ducting and inspect for blockage.If the duct has lint buildup, clean the duct, you can use a vacuum and brush.
• Remember to properly reconnect the ducting to the dryer and outside vent before using the dryer again.

Cleaning Heavily Soiled Clothing
Take special care when laundering clothes containing gasoline, cooking oils, cleaning agents, or finishing oils and stains.
Wash heavily soiled clothing more than once to minimize the volatile chemicals still on the clothes, and, if possible, hang the clothes out to air dry. If using a dryer, use the lowest heat setting and a drying cycle that has a cool-down period at the end of the cycle. To prevent clothes from igniting after drying, do not leave the dried clothes in the dryer or piled in a laundry basket.

You can always source the cleaning of your dryer vents out to professionals. It is recommended that your dryer vent cleaning happens every couple of years, and this will help reduce the risk of a dryer fire.

If you have a disaster, call the professionals at Stutters Disaster Kleenup at 1-877-763-1540.  We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, so that we can serve you, and get your home or business back to pre-loss condition.

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