Appliance safety: Clothes dryers can lead to trouble

Dryer Vent Cleaning Nassau County

Appliance safety: Clothes dryers can lead to trouble
July 15, 2010 @ 12:00 AM

Bob Dougherty, Dryer Vent Wizard

The clothes dryer is an appliance many use on a daily basis, but few realize that unsafe use of that appliance can lead to trouble.

According to a release from the state Fire Marshal's Office, dryers or washing machines were the source of ignition of an average 15,300 home structure fires across the U.S. between 2003 and 2006. That includes an annual 16 deaths, 433 injuries and $201 million in property damage. Dryers were responsible in 92 percent of all cases.

The leading cause of these fires was a failure to properly clean dryer vents and the appliance.

Here are some tips from the Fire Marshal's office to safely operate your dryer and prevent a fire:

Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.

Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.

Make sure the lint filter is cleaned before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.

Metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.

The air exhaust vent pipe should not be restricted and the outdoor vent flap should open when the dryer is on. Annual dryer vent cleaning will make all the difference in the world!

Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.

Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.

Follow the manufacturer's operating instructions and don't overload the dryer.

Turn the dryer off when leaving the home or going to bed.

Make sure the dryer is properly is properly grounded.

Check the outdoor dryer vent flap to make sure it is not covered or blocked by objects such as outdoor furniture, bird's nests, etc.

Keep the area around the dryer clear of thinks that can burn like boxes, cleaning supplies, clothing, etc.

Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances should be laid outside to dry and then be washed and dried.

Call the Dryer Vent Cleaning Wizard today and enjoy peace of mind that your clothes dryer is operating safely and efficiently.