8 Ways to Prevent Dryer Fires

Did you know that laundry room fires are very common in homes – this is mostly because of your dryer. Dryer fires may happen often but are completely avoidable if you know the warning signs.

There are many ways to to stop fires from happening in your dryer. From dryer vent cleaning to the type of fabric softener you use, everything can make a difference.

In this article, we’ll go over 8 different ways you can prevent dryer fires. We’ll help you make your home a much safer place. Let’s get started.

1. Clean Your Lint Trap After Every Use

Every dryer has a lint trap or lint screen that catches the lint from your clothes while they’re drying. The screen is usually found on the bottom or inside part of the opening. If the lint is not removed after every use of your dryer, you’re in for trouble.

cleaning a lint trap

Lint is highly flammable and it builds up quickly after each use of your dryer – especially when you dry towels. When the lint starts getting thick and is exposed to extreme heat, it will catch fire. Avoid this problem and clean your lint trap after every dry.

You should also clean give your lint trap a deep cleaning twice per year. Start by vacuuming and lint off of the screen. Then, fill a sink with hot water and allow it to soak. While that’s happening, mix soap and water in a bucket. You’re now ready to scrub the mixture on the screen using a brush.

2. Make Sure the Inside of Your Dryer is Clean

Sometimes lint doesn’t get caught in the trap and stays in the dryer along the edges. Just because it’s not in the trap doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous.

You’ll want to wipe down your dryer every month to ensure that no lint is trapped inside. You can even go as far as to wash your dryer to make sure it is clean and safe to use.

3. Don’t Use Plastic Duct Extenders

If you’re looking to stop dryer fires from happening, you should looking into your duct extenders. If you’re using a plastic extender over a metal one, you’re at risk of a dryer fire.

You’re probably confused on how this makes a difference. The plastic extenders sag and allow lint to build up in low points. You already know how lint can be problematic for your dryer. Metal duct extenders don’t sag so it’s more difficult for lint to build up.

If there was ever a dryer fire, metal ducts are better at containing it. Plastic extenders will catch fire while metal will hold strong and keep the fire contained.

4. Make Sure Your Dryer Vents are Clean

Dryer vent cleaning is extremely important in preventing laundry room fires. You should hire a professional, such as Early Times, to have your vents inspected and cleaned at least every 6 months.

Why is it so important to have your vents cleaned? The obvious reason is because lint builds up in there. By not cleaning your dryer vents, your dryer is a ticking time bomb.

dryer vent cleaning

The lint also blocks air flow. Your dryer vent is used to allow hot air to escape your home but if it’s clogged with lint, that heat is trapped within your dryer. Combine that with the lint that has built up and you’re looking at a major fire hazard.

5. Get a Dryer Vent That Fits

Keeping on the topic of dryer vents, you need to make sure that it properly fits your dryer. You should minimize the length of the hose because if it bends or kinks, there’s a problem.

When the hose bends, it allows lint to pile up easier. If it’s smashed or kinked, you’re closing the gap hot air can pass through. You’re effectively clogging your dryer vent before you even use it.

Your dryer vent should reach from your dryer to the exterior wall without having to loop it and it should be in an area where it’s not in danger of being damaged.

6. Be Careful Drying Clothes With Certain Stains

There are certain stains that require you to run through the washer a couple of times before you decide to wash them. These stains are gasoline, cooking oil and cleaning agents. If you don’t do so, a dryer fire could occur.

When you put these clothes in the dryer, the lint from them will be caught in the lint trap. If the already flammable lint has gasoline or cooking oil on them, dryer fires are an inevitability.

7. Liquid Fabric Softener Shouldn’t Be Mixed With Certain Clothes

Liquid fabric softeners can be a leading cause in dryer fires. When they’re mixed with fleece, terry cloth or velour, you’d be surprised by the results.

liquid fabric softener causes dryer fires

Believe it or not, consumer reports claims that mixing liquid fabric softener to the rinse water accelerated the burning process with these types of clothes.

8. Get a Dryer That Uses a Moisture Sensor

Most older dryers are set to a thermostat to dictate the length of the cycle but your clothes are often dry way before that time. This forces the dryer to run longer than it needs to.

Moisture sensors determine the amount of moisture in the dryer and will turn off when your clothes are dry. Make sure you wipe down your sensor with a soft cloth so it functions properly.

Stop Dryer Fires From Happening in Your Home

Stopping dryer fires in your home is much easier than you think. There are a few very simple steps you need to do to ensure your safety. Simply cleaning your lint trap after every wash, making sure your vents are clear for air to pass and being aware of what goes into your dryer can make a huge difference.

Early Times is here to make sure your home is safe and clean – that includes dryer vent cleaning. Our experts will clean out any type of vent such as plastic, foil or metal. Get a free quote now and see why thousands of homeowners have trusted us for over 30 years.

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