Preventing dryer fires: Experts say keeping your lint trap clean is just part of the safety cycle

How to Reduce Laundry Room Fire Hazards

Three Methods:

You may not think of your laundry room as a place with fire hazards, but it’s actually one of the riskier areas in your home. Not only do you have a hot dryer that’s constantly in contact with flammable lint, but many people also use their laundry room as a storage space for potentially flammable items. If you’re concerned about your laundry room’s safety, you don’t have to worry. It’s easy to reduce laundry room fire hazards by using your dryer safely, maintaining your electronics, and avoiding hazards.


Using Your Dryer Safely

  1. Clean the lint filter after every use.Lint is highly flammable, so allowing it to build up in your dryer’s filter is dangerous. Before you start a load of laundry, make it a habit to pull out the lint filter and wipe it clean. You also need to check around the vent pipes and ducts to make sure that they stay clear of lint.
  2. Replace your foil accordion vent pipe with a rigid metal pipe.Many dryers have a foil vent pipe that can collect lint that easily gets stuck in the folds of the vent, becoming a fire hazard. You can prevent lint build-up by replacing the vent pipe with a sturdy metal vent, which will not collect the lint.
  3. Clean inside, underneath, and behind the dryer.Lint and other debris can build up in the spaces surrounding your dryer. Heat or a spark from the dryer can ignite the flammable materials, causing a fire. You can reduce the risk of fire by dusting and sweeping around your dryer once a week to keep it lint free.
  4. Avoid drying items that have been exposed to combustible materials.If you’ve gotten oil, grease, or gasoline on a piece of laundry, don’t put it in the dryer because the heat could cause the item to catch on fire. Instead, line dry the items to keep your laundry room safe.
  5. Check to make sure that there is space between the dryer and the wall.Your dryer needs clearance from the wall so that air can circulate around it to cool it down. If the heat cannot escape, then it can easily overheat. Additionally, your vent pipe needs space so that it doesn’t get bent or compressed. If it does, the lint could build-up.
  6. Avoid running the dryer while you are away or asleep.Dryers are the most dangerous when they’re unattended because it’s easier for something to go unchecked. Turn off your machine if you have to leave the home or are about to go to bed. It’s better to have damp clothes than to have a house fire.

Maintaining Your Electronics

  1. Call a professional to install new appliances.When you purchase new appliances, it can be tempting to save money by installing them yourself; however, you may not install them correctly, which could result in hazards. Call a handyman or hire representatives from the store where you purchased your appliance to install the appliances for you. While it’s an added upfront expense, it will help you keep your home safe.
  2. Look for frayed wires and damaged cords.Frayed wires and damaged cords can not only start a fire, they can also cause electric shocks. Unplug affected cords and immediately repair or replace them.
    • Keep laundry and other materials from building up around the cords as this could create a fire hazard or disguise your damaged cords.
  3. Avoid using an extension cord.Extension cords can only handle so much wattage before they overheat and become a fire hazard. Additionally, they are meant to be a temporary solution to an electrical need and are not meant to be relied upon regularly. You should always plug your appliances directly into a wall socket.
    • You should also never plug an appliance into a two-prong outlet. Make sure that you are using an outlet with a surge protector.
  4. Watch for signs of damaged machines.A damaged washing machine may leave you with soapy or sopping wet clothing, while a broken dryer won’t be able to completely dry your clothes.
    • Machines can get damaged by items left in pockets, so remember to check them while you load the machine.
  5. Get your machines checked annually.Ask your handyman to do a maintenance check on your machines once a year to make sure that they’re in good working order. This will allow you to repair your appliances before they become a hazard.

Avoiding Hazards

  1. Read the care labels on your clothing.If you care for fabrics incorrectly, then you could create a fire hazard. For example, some materials cannot be placed in the dryer. Make sure that you read all of your clothing labels so that you do not accidentally create a hazard.
  2. Hang your clothes in a safe location.If you line dry items, make sure that they are located away from heat sources, such as your dryer, iron, or radiator. If the clothes came in contact with the hot appliance, they could become a fire hazard.
    • Even if they don’t catch fire, you could damage your clothes.
  3. Use your iron safely.Because your iron is small, it’s easy to overlook it; however, irons are still a source of heat. If you accidentally leave a hot iron laying with the hot side down, it could ignite the item it’s on, especially if it’s on your ironing board.
    • Always check your iron to make sure that it’s turned off before you walk away.
    • Make a habit of not leaving your iron with the hot side down.
    • To stay safe, unplug your iron between uses.
  4. Avoid piling laundry on the floor or appliances.Piles of laundry can create a hazard by overheating a power cord, hiding damage, or falling behind machines. Instead, store both clean and dirty laundry in either laundry baskets or a hamper.
  5. Avoid storing combustible materials near hot appliances.Items like paint, stain removers, gasoline cans, or chemicals need to be stored away from your hot appliances, such as your dryer, iron, hot water heater, or radiator.
    • If you can store the items elsewhere, it’s best to relocate them to an area that doesn’t have so many heat sources.

Community Q&A

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    Should the door to the laundry room be closed or open?
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    You may do either.
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Date: 10.12.2018, 18:36 / Views: 74135