Cleaning your dryers should be done on a regular basis. An estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
Clothes dryer fire incidences in residential buildings was higher in the fall and winter months, peaking in January at 11 percent. Failure to clean (34%) was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings. Dust, fiber, and lint (28%) and clothing not on a person (27%) follow.
Here are a three easy ways you can keep your dryer fire free this winter:
- Ensure you’re using the proper transition duct. One very important piece for dryer safety is the transition duct; this hooks the dryer to the dryer ducting. Remember just because you can buy in the box store does not make it proper or safe. Many of the cheap transition ducts are dangerous and may void warranties on your dryer. The International Mechanical and Residential Building Codes specify “UL2158A Listed” materials to be considered as code compliant. Listed products should meet and/or exceed flame-burning tests of at least 430 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Clean your lint screen. This screen should be cleaned each time to dry a new load. Be thorough—even if there is only a little lint on the screen, wipe it away.
- Clean your vent line. This line connects from the wall behind your dryer to the outside flap. If you are unable to clean it yourself, you may hire a professional to do this for you,