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How To Prevent a Clothes Dryer Fire

Over 15,000 homes will have a dryer fire this year. As shocking as this seems, incidents are down almost 50% from the 1970s. Recently, Farmers Insurance ran a comical spot with a blow torch and a giant ball of lint to show how fires are started.

But that is how dryer fires start. Heat generates lint. Lint clogs duct. Duct becomes flammable and fire is started. So I asked one of our Senior Techs, Dave Curro, how to prevent a dryer fire.

prevent dryer lint fires
  1. Clean your filter after every load, and clean behind the dryer 2-3 times a year.

  2. Replace your plastic or cloth duct with metal, simply because plastic is easily flammable.

  3. Clean the duct once a year to remove any residual lint. It is also important to check the wall cap or exit point of a duct to insure vegetation, bees or birds haven't nested there.

  4. Clean your electronic sensor of lint once a month. Sensor is an electronic baffle which regulates drying time. It turns down the heat when a certain degree of moisture has been reached.

  5. Use fabric softener instead of sheets. Although this is unlikely to cause a fire, the fibers from the sheet can affect the sensor. Manufacturers no longer recommend drying sheets.

  6. Don't dry anything flammable like clothes with residue of gas, etc.

Avoiding a dryer fire is easy: Duct properly, clean lint thoroughly and exercise some caution when drying flammable materials.

For more tips, go to the Yale Resource Center with videos, how-to guides and recipes.

Topics: Dryers, Laundry

About The Author

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike

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