Unusual Suspects: Is This Common Home Appliance Putting Your Family at Risk?

Is This Common Home Appliance Putting Your Family at Risk?

Did you know that about 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year? According to the U.S. Fire Administration, these dryer fires cause about 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss each year. These types of fires are more likely to occur in the fall and winter, with the most dryer fires occurring in January. If you are not taking measures to make sure that your dryer vents are clean, you may be putting your family at risk.

How to Prevent Clothes Dryer Fires

Though it may be alarming that this common household appliance has the potential to put your family at risk, the good news is that this type of home fire is preventable. Here are a few suggestions from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on how to prevent clothes dryer fires:

Clean the lint screen or filter before or after you dry each load of clothing.

A clogged lint screen can cause your clothing to take longer to dry. If you notice that the clothing is still damp after the drying cycle, you may need to clean your lint screen or filter.

Periodically clean your dryer vent and exhaust duct.

Homeowners should check their outside dryer vent while the dryer is on to make sure that air is escaping through the exhaust. If you do not notice air escaping, this could be a sign that the exhaust duct is blocked.

Clean any buildup of lint behind the dryer.

Lint can start to build up behind your dryer over time. It is important to keep this area clean and clutter-free. Call a qualified professional to clean the inside of your dryer’s chassis to reduce the amount of lint buildup.

Take care when drying any clothes that may have volatile chemicals on them.

This includes gasoline, cooking oils, and cleaning agents. You may have to wash this clothing more than once before you put them into the dryer.

Signs That It’s Time to Clean Your Dryer Vent

The leading cause of clothes dryer fires in United States homes is failure to keep the dryer and its parts clean. Here are just a few signs that it’s time to clean your dryer vent:

  • Clothing is not dry after one normal drying cycle or clothes take longer than 35 to 40 minutes to dry.
  • Your clothing is unusually hot after completing a dryer cycle.
  • You notice excessive heat in the laundry room while the dryer is on.
  • You see large amounts of lint accumulating in or around the lint trap during dryer operation.
  • You start to notice debris within the dryer vent opening outside.
  • You notice a musty odor after the drying cycle or find that dryer sheets used during the cycle have an odor.

Get a Free Dryer Vent Cleaning with Your Duct Cleaning Service

Right now, McLay Services is offering a free dryer vent cleaning with your residential duct cleaning services. This is a $150 value that we are happy to provide for our clients to help them prevent a dryer fire. For more information or to schedule an appointment for duct cleaning services, call us now: (909) 392-2202.