Dryer Fires: Don’t Overlook this Common Household Fire Hazard

We use our clothes washer and dryers so often that they often become a forgotten fixture in our lives. Like any other appliance, they need maintenance to stay in proper and safe working order. This is especially true of clothes dryers. Few people consider the danger of clothes dryer fires, even though according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission there are an estimated 15,500 fires caused by household clothes dryers each year.

The Cost is High

Annually, fires caused by dryers result in approximately 10 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. And in most cases the fire could have been prevent. The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them, which is true in 35% of the incidents.

A Second Serious Problem

If you have a gas dryer and have lint build-up, another serious problem is the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, scentless poisonous gas that at worst can cause death. Many people who experience carbon monoxide poisoning do not even know they are in danger until the symptoms become serious or life threatening.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Feeling faint and tired

Prevention and Detection are Critical Elements

Fires occur in dryers when the accumulation of lint causes reduced air flow. Lint is highly combustible and under these conditions, fires are likely to happen. These conditions also promote dangerous conditions that can lead to carbon monoxide build up.

There are several things you can do to improve dryer safety, however, and avoid problems.

  • Have short and straight venting. Lint builds up easily in long or bent venting.
  • Clean the lint trap regularly
  • Pull the dryer out from the wall and clean around, under, and in the dryer.
  • Provide adequate space between the dryer and the wall
  • Install monitored fire and carbon monoxide systems which can alert you, and authorities, to any problems

About Alarmingly Affordable

Alarmingly Affordable is a family-owned security company, and protecting your family is our top priority. If you would like more information, give us a call. We are always ready to help out our community, our friends.

Steven Capogna
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