Prevention of a Dryer Fire
Facts about home clothes dryer fires
- 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
- The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them (34 percent).
- More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.
Clothes dryer do’s
Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional.
Make sure the correct electrical plug and outlet are used and that the dryer is connected properly.
Read manufacturers' instructions and warnings in use and care manuals that come with new dryers.
Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. In addition, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged.
Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months.
Have your dryer cleaned regularly by a professional, especially if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry.
Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow and dirt.
Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
Replace coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid, non-ribbed metal duct.
Have gas-powered dryers inspected every year by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are together and free of leaks.
Check regularly to make sure nests of small animals and insects are not blocking the outside vent.
Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that can burn.
If you will be away from home for an extended time, unplug or disconnect the dryer.