Roughly 3,000 clothes dryer fires are reported every year-causing an estimated five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. The following are some do’s and don’t from the National Safety Council for preventing home dryer fires.
- Have a professional install your clothes dryer.
- Clean the lint filter before and after every load of laundry.
- Remember to clean the back of the dryer, where lint can build up.
- Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months.
- Have a professional regularly inspect your dryer, especially if the machine is taking longer than usual to dry clothes.
- Have gas-powered dryers inspected every year by a professional to ensure the gas line and connection are together and free of leaks.
- Make sure the proper electrical plug and outlet are used and that the dryer is connected correctly.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of flammable items.
- Unplug or disconnect the dryer if you plan on being away from home for an extended period of time.
- Use a clothes dryer that doesn’t have a lint filter, or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged, or clogged.
- Overload the dryer.
- Dry any material containing foam, rubber, or plastic, such as a rug with a rubber back.
- Dry items that have come into contact with a flammable liquid, such as alcohol, cooking oil, or gasoline.
- Run the dryer when you are asleep or if you leave your home.