Four Ways to Protect Yourself from Dryer Fires

You may have had the stray thought about the clothes in your dryer catching fire randomly because of too much heat, but then talked it away as something impossible. Unfortunately, according to the National Fire Protection Association that’s not as true as you might think, and here’s four reasons why:

1. The dryer vent, or air duct. This is a key item on your dryer that vents hot air and gas out of your house. A lot of dryer vents are made of plastic, and one of the biggest dryer repair bills you might face is replacing a warped vent. This can lead quickly to a dryer fire as lint gets caught over time and ignites. You’re much safer with a flexible metal vent instead!

2. Dryer location. This might not seem like a big deal but as household layouts changed over time, and with them the location of the laundry room, there have been an increase in dryer related fires. This is because the air vent twists and turns to find a way out of your house, leading to build up of lint in places you don’t even think to check. If your dryer isn’t near an outside wall, it’s best to clean the vent tubes regularly.

3. Overloading clothes. Another large issue involved with dryers that often lead to maintenance and fires is overloading the amount of clothes inside your dryer. If your regular attempts at drying a single laundry load take two or three passes before your clothes are dry, you’re not doing your dryer any favors and instead increase the risk of a fire.

4. Wall space. This might seem silly but where a dryer sits can also increase or decrease the risk of a fire hazard. The main thing here is to not put your dryer flush against the wall, but instead leave a bit of room. This is because otherwise you crush the vent connection, increasing the risk of lint buildup and a fire.

Suffice to say if you want to avoid damaging your dryer or, even worse, igniting a dryer fire, then you need to keep an eye out for the key problem areas. An excess buildup of lint, or overtaxing the machine damages your dryer, often results in the need of a dryer repair bill. Even worse is when you don’t get your machine fixed, or you don’t keep an eye out, and a fire happens.

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