Clothes dryers are catching fire more commonly than you may think. According to a report by CBC, Toronto alone sees an average of 39 fires annually caused by air dryers. Dryer fires are a real hazard that can happen to anyone at any moment unless you take proactive care. What is causing these dryers to catch fire and what can you as a homeowner do to avoid them? Find out everything in this mini dryer fire guide.

How To Prevent A Dryer Fire In Your Home?

⦁ Clear Away Lint

The most common cause of dryer fires is simply a failure to clean your dryers properly. Firstly, you should always use a dryer with the lint filter or lint screen in place. The lint screen will catch stray lint from your clothing as it tumbles around the dryer.

You should clean this filter and the lint trap of your dryer regularly. When lint accumulates over these areas, it can clog the air passage, reducing the efficiency of your dryer and causing overheating. With too much heat, it becomes easier for the lint to catch fire. To avoid this scenario, you should clean the lint filter after every load of laundry.

⦁ Thoroughly Inspect the Dryer Vent and Ducts

It is not just the dryer you need to look out for; you should also thoroughly inspect your dryer vents and surrounding air ducts. It is easy for excess lint to build up in your dryer vents, leading to potential hazards. You should inspect your metal ducts and dryer vents at least once a month to clear away any lint and other residue that builds up inside.

Even without inspection, there are some telltale signs that your dryer vents may be clogged. Your clothes may take longer to dry, your dryer may begin overheating quickly or you may notice a burning smell around your clothes dryer. If any of these become the case, it is time for a dryer vent cleaning!

⦁ Avoid Placing Combustibles Close to The Dryer

The next step is to reduce the chances of fire by keeping combustibles away from your dryer. This includes your clothing, boxes and cleaning materials. Keep them stored in appropriate places so they do not get knocked over close to the dryer.

You should also avoid the improper use of your clothes dryer and never place any material inside that goes against the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines. Items made of plastic, rubber or foam generally fall in this category. For them, the traditional clothesline is the best choice for drying.

⦁ Never Overload Your Dryer

Overloading the dryer means placing too heavy loads of clothing that go beyond the recommended limits. If you overload the dryer with excess clothing, it will not only lead to an excessive build-up of lint but will also put more pressure on your clothes dryer. As such, it becomes easy for your machine to begin heating up. Poor ventilation combined with these elements can lead to dryer fires.

For best results, you should avoid overloading your dryer. Lighter loads will dry more efficiently without putting too much wear and tear on your machine, which will help avoid a dryer fire while also saving time and energy.

What To Do in Case Your Dryer Catches Fire?

If your dryer happens to catch fire, do not panic. With the right steps, you can considerably minimize the damage to your property. Start by immediately calling 911 so they can send professionals to handle the situation.

In the meantime, leave the dryer door closed. Avoid letting the fire grow by feeding on more oxygen. This will also limit the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you have a fire extinguisher at home, use it to put out the dryer fire. However, only do so if the flame is small and containable. After the fire is extinguished, unplug the dryer and make your exit. If the fire in dryer seems difficult to manage, exit immediately and wait for emergency services.

In either situation, wait for the emergency services to arrive. This should be followed by a careful inspection of your home’s electrical system to address any impact on your wiring.

Invest In A Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning Service

The best way to avoid dryer fires is to ensure you clean your dryer and its surrounding air ducts and air vents on time. Even with personal cleaning, getting rid of lint clogged the interior of your air vents can be difficult. So, how to clean dryer vent for the best results? Leave the heavy work to the professionals. Give KW Duct Cleaning a call to schedule your professional inspection and dryer cleaning service today.

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