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Preventing Dryer Fire

The idea of a fire in your home or apartment is one of the most frightening things imaginable. Not only can a fire cause property damage, but it could put the health and safety of all who live there at risk. Fires can be caused by many things; however, dryer fires are one of the most significant. In fact, a report by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) stated that between 2010 and 2014 alone, US Fire Departments responded to an average of almost 16,000 fires caused by washers or dryers each year. The majority of these were caused by clothes dryers.

Man holding a dryer's full lint tray.

By following some preventative measures, it is possible for many dryer fires to be prevented. The US Fire Administration (USFA) notes that failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause of this type of fire. To protect you, your home and your family, we've put together a few tips that may help you prevent this type of damage

  • Clean the Lint Filter: After every load you dry, make sure you clean out the lint filter. This is a seemingly small task, but it can make a big difference in helping prevent the build-up of lint that could cause a fire. Additionally, with a clean lint filter, you will find your clothes dry faster too. This simple step will help save you time and money on your utility bills.
  • Replace Old Ducts: A saggy or misshapen dryer duct allows lint to collect in the back of the dryer, leading to a major fire hazard. If possible, replace an accordion-style duct with a rigid metal one that will be less likely to become clogged.
  • Clean Ducts Annually: At least once a year, vacuum out your duct to make sure it flows smoothly to the outside. Additionally, if you notice it's taking longer to dry your clothes it may be time to schedule an additional cleaning for your ducts.
  • Be Smart with Chemicals: Another cause for dryer fires is when flammable chemicals are put through your dryer. If you have clothes that are soiled with volatile chemicals or oil you will benefit from washing them multiple times and line drying instead of putting them through the heated clothes dryer.

There are simple things you can do to protect your family and home from dryer fires. Another important way to protect your family is by making sure you have the right insurance in place for your home so make sure to reach out to your local independent insurance agent today.

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