Heating And Ventilation Tips: 5 Keys To Preventing Dryer Fires
One of the most forgotten causes of fires in the home is the clothes dryer. Every year, thousands of fires have been caused by clothes dryers, resulting in deaths and injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that fiires can occur from lint build up. Lint accumulates in the dryer or in the exhaust duct and blocks the flow of air. This can result in excessive heat build-up, potentially causing a fire.
To prevent fires:
- Clean the lint screen. Always clean the lint filter or screen before or after each drying cycle. If you notice that you've gone through a cycle and the clothes are still damp, this may be an indication that there is an accumulation of lint.
- Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct. While the dryer is running, check where the exhaust air escapes. If it's not flowing it's blocked. You can try to clear the exhaust pipe by disconnecting from both ends and using a snake type device, or to be assured of clearing the line, have a professional clean it for you. Remember to reconnect both ends before attempting to use the dryer after cleaning.
- Clean behind the dryer. Have a professional remove the back of the dryer and clean the lint that may have accumulated. You should have this done at least every 6 months. In the interim between cleanings, keep the space behind the dryer clear of clutter.
- Use a metal duct to replace plastic or foil ducts. The flexible plastic or foil type ducts have spirals that act to trap lint, and are suseptible to kinks and crushing, which will reduce air flow. Replacing this with a metal duct will improve airflow.
- Be aware of chemicals. If the clothing has become soiled with a chemical like gasoline, cleaning agents, cooking oils, it could be volatile and the heat from the dryer could cause a fire. Wash the clothing more than once, and use a low heat to dry. Avoid leaving piles of clothing that may have been soiled by chemicals as well - the heat buildup could potentially cause a fire.
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Columbia NW Heating Inc. specializes in efficiently upgrading or repairing air conditioning, heating, gas furnaces, heat pump, ductless heat pumps, tankless water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, electric furnaces, air filtration systems, oil furnaces, gas fireplaces and inserts, and all systems related to the comfort of your home or office in Portland and surrounding areas.