It may surprise you to learn that one of the most dangerous home appliances you own may be your clothes dryer. It is estimated that dryers are responsible for over 15,000 fires every year- fires that cause millions of dollars in property damage and over 300 injuries and 10 deaths each year!
What Makes Dryers So Dangerous?
The primary cause of dryer fires is the failure to clean the lint trap regularly. In order to work, dryers use a tremendous amount of heat, and a build-up of lint provides perfect tinder for a potential fire. People sometimes allow dryer vents to become blocked, which permits excessive heat to build up inside the dryer. Also, people dry items (such as plastic shoes or rugs with foam backing made of materials that can melt or catch fire if heated in a dryer.
In order to operate your dryer safely, be sure to clean the lint filter after each load. Periodically check the vent to make sure it is clear, and do not dry either flammable materials or any clothes that have been soaked in flammable substances such as alcohol, gasoline, and spot removers. Follow the instructions that come with the dryer and, if you suspect your dryer has an electrical problem, have it repaired before use. These simple steps will not only make your dryer last longer, but will ensure that you are not the victim of a dryer fire.