In most of the world, hanging clean clothes outside to dry is the norm. But in our busy modern lives, most people prefer to dry their laundry in a clothes dryer. A basic machine takes about 30 minutes; an expensive machine takes about the same but with many more options– including fancy buzzers.
However, we at Contact Restoration know that clothes dryers present a potential danger in your Florence home. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, every year there are an estimated annual 15,500 fires, 10 deaths and 10 injuries due to clothes dryer fires. In some cases faulty appliances are to blame, but many fires can be prevented with proper safety precautions.
Why Fires Happen
Nowadays, many newer homes tend to have dryers located away from an outside wall in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and hall closets, necessitating longer distances for the warm air and lint to travel. A significant amount of this combustible material is not caught by the lint trap and builds up 1) inside the dryer 2) near or on the heating element and 3) within the vent house that empties outside. Lint builds up, overheats and sometimes catches fire.
Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional. Make sure the correct electrical plug and outlet are used and that the dryer is connected properly. Always ground the appliance, don’t use an extension cord.
Maintain adequate clearance space between dryer and wall. Many people create problems by putting their dryer right against the wall, crushing the venting material in the process. Metal vents resist crushing better than plastic and foil, which allows the air and lint to be carried out of the system. Both vinyl and foil are combustible; spiral-wound surfaces tend to catch lint more readily.
Keep the Dryer Duct in Good Condition
- Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
- Vent to the exterior, never to the attic or crawlspace.
- Put a covering on the outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow and dirt.
- Check regularly to make sure nests of small animals and insects are not blocking the outside vent.
Keep It Clean and Lint Free
Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. In addition, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged.
If you have doubts, have your dryer cleaned regularly by a professional if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry.
And Stay Safe
Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies, and last week’s lint. Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances, like gasoline, paint thinner, or similar solvents should be laid outside to dry, then can be washed and dried as usual. Don’t use the dryer (or the washer) if you have a water leak in the laundry room, call Contact Restoration for help.
Fire Damage Restoration in Florence, AZ
A fire in the laundry room can quickly spread, resulting in catastrophic damage in just minutes. Even small fires can be incredibly destructive and create large amounts of smoke damage. After the fire is out, turn to Contact Restoration for professional fire damage restoration and smoke damage cleanup. Some very toxic chemicals may be produced as a result of breakdown reactions from the various parts of construction materials, solvents, glues and other items in the structure. State-of-the-art technology can detect and neutralize these dangerous chemicals as well as contain hazardous materials.
A fire loss is devastating and complex; it is important to have trained technicians at your home right away.