Preventing Clothes Dryer Fires – Part 2

Hello, and welcome back to our blog. This is part two of our blog series about preventing dryer fires in your home. In our first blog, we covered what the main causes of dryer fires are, why dryer fires are on the rise, as well as preventing drying anything that has been in contact with flammable chemicals or at the very least, ensuring that they are thoroughly washed beforehand. If you’d like to learn more about this subject, keep reading.

What You Can Do About It

The Inside Of The Dryer

Many homeowners assume that their lint filters catch all of the lint that comes off of clothes, however, by simply pulling out the lint trap and looking underneath, you can see that this is not the case! Although cleaning the filter should be your first course of action, it should not be your only. But lint isn’t just found there either, it can be found in your vents and even on the heating element itself! Clothes dryer fires start with a spark, but lint buildup will make that more likely to occur.

Fire Hazards Around The Dryer

Believe it or not, it’s not just fire hazards inside the dryer itself that can result in house fires; what’s going on around the dryer also matters. First and foremost, the way the vent system was installed makes a difference. If dryer vents are too long, don’t have a dryer duct booster, or have too many bends, this could lead to more lint buildup. Instead, make sure vents are straight and as short as possible.

Avoid using foil or plastic duct extenders that are flammable and flimsy. Instead, use metal vents. These will not get crushed or bent out of place which would prevent air and lint from being removed from the system. Not only does this create a fire hazard, but it will cause the system to overheat and wear out faster than it would otherwise. Old, worn-out systems are also more likely to result in a fire.

Another important thing to note is that you need adequate clearance space between the dryer and the wall. Homeowners who move their dryer a lot may cause the venting material to get damaged. As a result, the high-temperature limit safety switch will turn on and off, which will eventually fail. It’s best to ensure the system is installed correctly in the first place, then avoid moving it around unless you need to clean it.

General Guidelines

If you want to do everything you can to avoid dryer fires, there are a few general guidelines you should follow.

  • Make sure your dryer duct is made of quality materials. Solid metallic materials are a good alternative to foil, vinyl, and other combustible materials.
  • It’s generally best to use vents with a diameter of four inches and an exterior exhaust hood of sixteen square inches.
  • Try to avoid using screws to put your vent pipe together. They can cause more friction and more lint to accumulate.
  • Don’t move your dryer up against the wall crushing the dryer duct. Instead, Dryerboxes can be used to more safely install your clothes dryer while saving space.
  • Although you can certainly try to clean your own dryer vents, the best way to ensure your system is free of lint is to contact a professional dryer vent cleaner. Dryer vents should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year. Many HVAC companies offer dryer vent cleaning in addition to their normal air conditioning and furnace services.

Contact Safe Investment Home Inspections

Part of being a responsible homeowner is knowing that there are always ways to improve the safety of your home. Although homes are designed to be safe, poor electrical installation, clothes dryer maintenance, as well as a lack of care while cooking are some of the major causes of house fires. When you give us a call at Safe Investment Home Inspections, we take into consideration anything that could cause a fire in your home and ensure that it is up to standards, allowing you to live in your own home knowing it is safe and secure. Give us a call today to get started.

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