Dryer Fires and Home Safety

Posted by , , at 3:01 pm

The majority of home fires occur during the winter, due to prevalent use of fireplaces and heating devices; but that doesn’t mean fire departments take the summer off. The warmer seasons have their own set of fire safety challenges, stemming from the misuse of items such as barbecue grills, fireworks and electrical cords.

You also need to be careful when using items inside your home. Cooking mishaps are a common cause of home fires, but there’s another source of residential fires that you might find surprising: the dryer.

Dryer Maintenance and Safety

Careful maintenance of your dryer is a must. I’m guilty of thinking of that as long as I clean off the lint screen regularly, I’ll be fine. Unfortunately, if you’re a frequent user of dryer sheets, that’s not the case.

Dryer sheets release residue when exposed to heat, which, when cooled down, can clog your lint screen without being noticeable. To reduce the risk of a fire occurring, you should gently scrub the lint screen with soap and water.

Vacuuming your dryer is another great way to help prevent a fire. Pull out the dryer and clean out all the dust, lint and other particles that have built up over time. The hose can be vacuumed as well.

In addition, you should always follow general safety rules, such as not running the dryer when no one is home. There’s no guarantee that a fire won’t occur, even when following all the necessary precautions. If your dryer overheats, not having someone there to turn it off could cause substantial damage to your home.

Fire Detection

Another highly recommended safety tip: Always check to make sure your smoke and fire detection devices are working properly. This might sound obvious, but according to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 5 million U.S. households don’t have functioning smoke detectors! So check your smoke detectors to see that they’re working, and that they have fresh batteries.

If you have a security system, opt to go with a monitored Smoke and Heat Sensor over the standard one that’s in your home. If a fire were to occur in your home while you were gone, your monitored sensor will be able to notify the fire department.

Hope you find these tips to be useful, and enjoy your safe (and fire-free) summer!

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  1. Nina Easton

    Great info! Thank you.