CLOTHES DRYER FIRES
According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, there are approximately 12,700 fires caused by clothes dryers annually, resulting in 15 deaths, 300 injuries, and $88 Million in property losses each year. A recent fire in a multi-family house on Mission Hill was believed to be caused by a dryer. The sad fact is that most dryer fires could have been prevented with proper care. The Fire Marshall’s office offers the following tips to prevent dryer fires:
- Clean the filter screen after each load. This will keep the vent clear. When accumulated lint clogs the vent, the dryer can overheat and a fire could result.
- Stay home while the dryer is in use. Turn off your dryer before leaving the house.
- Clean vents to outside. Twice a year you should clean the plastic hose pipe that vents to the outside. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck out accumulated dust and lint.
- Vacuum the motor area. The dust and lint in the vent pipe can ignite if it gets hot enough. Vacuum the motor area if you can get to it. You may have to remove a panel. If your dryer does not have an access panel, call a qualified appliance service technician or appliance service company to clean it out.
- Clean commercial dryer vents regularly. Commercial dryers get a lot of use and will have a common venting system. It is extremely important to have the vents cleaned regularly.
- Don’t dry mop heads. The dryer’s heat can ignite the cleaning chemical residue on mop heads.
- Keep surrounding area clear. Don’t leave clothes or other ordinary combustibles too close to the dyer. The dryer’s heat may ignite them.