How to Avoid Dryer Vent Fire Hazards How to Avoid Dryer Vent Fire Hazards

What You'll Need
Screwdriver or pliers

If you have a dryer vent you may have a fire risk inside of your home. Did you know that 14,500 dryers will catch on fire every year? The fires that are easily avoidable will kill 10 people statistics say. The biggest risk of fire from your dryer is lint. Lint builds up in a dryer at almost every point and, although most people will clean out the dryer vent every time they use the machine, they do not realize that build-up inside the vent is not the real issue.

There are several things you can do to minimize the risk of a dryer fire inside of your home.

Step 1 - Dryer Vent

You will need to make sure the dryer vent is empty every time you run the dryer. Every person who uses a dryer regularly knows the clothes will not dry properly if this is full. But when was the last time you checked the dryer vent hose? You may be surprised to find that is full of lint also. There are many brushes on the market you can use to clean out this hose or you can use a vacuum attachment hose that is small enough and long enough to fit into it.

Step 2 - Outside Dryer Vent

Make sure your outside dryer vent is clean and vents outside very well. The hose should be 4 inches in diameter and vented to the outside. If you look inside of it at night, you should not be able to see sparks coming from inside of it. If you can see sparks, clean it.

Step 3 -  The Dryer

The inside of your dryer is probably encrusted with old lint that has turned into dust and stuck together. Use a screwdriver or a pair of pliers to remove the panel from the back of the machine and thoroughly vacuum it out. This lint is the #1 cause of house fires involving dryers. The lint builds up and gets into the heating element. Lint is very flammable and the dryer’s heating element will catch it on fire. While most of the time the air from the dryer will blow out these small particles, there is a very real possibility that the air will instead fan the flames, making a real fire and endangering your family and property. Clean it out regularly to avoid this problem.

Step 4 - Do not Leave the Dryer on

Never leave your dryer running when you are not home or when you are asleep.

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