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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.
How to Prevent a Clothes Dryer Fire
Clean your filter after every load, and clean behind the dryer 2-3 times a year.
Replace your plastic or cloth duct with metal, simply because plastic is easily flammable.
Clean the duct once a year to remove any residual lint. It is also important tocheck the wall cap or exit point of a ductto insure vegetation, bees or birds haven't nested there.
Clean your electronic sensorof 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.
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.
Don't dry anything flammablelike clothes with residue of gas, etc.
For more tips, go to the Yale Resource Center with videos, how-to guides and recipes. Avoiding a dryer fire is easy: Duct properly, clean lint thoroughly and exercise some caution when drying flammable materials.
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