Doing laundry is most likely part of your daily routine, but did you know how important taking care of your clothes dryer is to the safety of your home?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading cause of home dryer fires is failure to clean them. Listed below are a few simple safety tips to help prevent a clothes dryer fire.
» Your dryer should be installed and serviced by a professional.
» Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
» Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
» Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
» Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. This should be done once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry. Clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
» Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a qualified 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 your dryer.
» Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
Remember, dryers should be properly grounded. Check the outdoor vent flap to make sure it is not obstructed. Keep the area around your dryer clear of the things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing.
Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances, like gasoline, paint thinner or similar solvents should be laid outside to dry, then washed and dried as usual.
For more information regarding fire prevention and preparedness, visit www.montecitofire.com.
— Joyce Reed is an administrative assistant of the Montecito Fire Protection District.