We know that our clothing dryer is an everyday convenience which we don’t often think about, as long as it is in working order. We use it on a daily basis and we expect it to be reliable and safe machine. Is this really that simple? Is there anything we should be worried about when using it?
You should be aware that improper use of a clothing dryer can pose a fire hazard. Every year, firefighters across the country respond to more than 700 of home fires caused by clothing dryers! You may be thinking that this is an insignificant number, but you need to be mindful and proactive in order to avoid this from happening in your own home.
The majority of clothing dryer fires are caused by the accumulation of lint. While some dryers have started implementing technology for detecting lint build-up, they still alert only when a complete blockage occurs. When dryers are not being properly cleaned the airflow to the dryer cannot escape as it was designed to, resulting in gas build up and potential fire conditions. The other reason can arise when the dryer is pushed too tightly back against the wall or when the vent pipe has a kink. This results in air backing up into the dryer and lint build up over time. As you can see safe clothing dryer vents are essential. You can make your dryer usage safer with some simple tips we just compiled for you:
- Clean the Lint Filter
The best practice is to make it a habit to clean the filter every time you put a load of laundry in. It only takes a few moments, but it has a huge impact on your safety. When you clean the lint filter or lint trap, please watch for any signs of the dryer being clogged:
- The first sign is the dryer does not appear to be drying as well
- The second is a musty odor to the clothes after drying
- Lastly, your clothes feel unusually hot to the touch.
- Use Approved Duct Metal Piping Instead of Accordion-Style Vent Hose or Plastic
Usually homes are equipped with an accordion-style hose connecting the back of the dryer to the exterior duct. These types of hoses are more flexible and easier to install. However, this construction allows the hose to sag, allowing lint to build up at low points and to stick to the ridges. Rigid metal ducts allow for proper air flow and reduce the likeliness of lint sticking.
- Clean the Dryer Duct Annually and Inspect the Interior for Lint Buildup
Like everything else in your home, your dryer requires scheduled maintenance. Cleaning the lint filter won’t clean the dust and debris which has build up in the hardware itself or the duct leading to the outside. Be sure to clean behind and underneath the dryer as well. General inspections will give you some indication of potential issue.
- Use the Dryer Properly
Like your washer and dishwasher, it’s never a good practice to use your dryer when you’re not home or before bed time.
- Install a Smoke Alarm in the Area of your Dryer
It is always wise to take additional precautions against possibility of fire. This is why we strongly encourage you to install a smoke detector that will help to detect the fire before you even know.
Preventative maintenance is the best way to protect your loved ones and your belongings. Speak with those living with you to understand the importance of the steps we have outlined. Be sure to perform your annual dryer vent cleaning so you can enjoy the luxury of your dryer SAFELY.
If you have any other tips, you would like to share with others, please join a discussion at www.BCtalk.ca, BC Discussion Forum.
If you are a service provider that repairs washing machines and clothing dryers, please advertise with us and post your services at www.JoboHolic.ca.