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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Dryer Fires: Safety and Prevention

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Dryer Fire Damage following a dryer fire.

A recent report from the U.S. Fire Administration estimates there are 2,900 clothes dryer fires every year, causing 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property damage.

Heavy clothes, sweaters and blankets used during winter months shed much more lint and create a fire hazards during winter months. But cleaning the "lint trap" alone is not enough to prevent fires.

Fire investigators say cleaning the lint trap is just a first step. The real buildup of lint happens out of sight and is overlooked by most consumers. After removing the back of the dryer it is often times discovered that the electrical wiring is all coated with lint and dust. It also builds up inside the vent tubing leading to the outside.

Fire investigators found that as lint builds up and is exposed to heat, fires can easily erupt.

Experts advise that there are two major warning signs you may have severe lint buildup:

  • Clothes taking too long to dry, requiring another cycle of drying.
  • Laundry room being warmer than usual.

Both are signs the vent is clogged with lint. 
There are specifics steps you can take to prevent lint fires:

  1. Clean the lint screen after each load.
  2. Clean behind the dryer.
  3. Check and clean exhaust vents at least one a year.
  4. Remove the dryer back and vacuum the inside of the dryer ever two years.

SERVPRO of Carbondale/Clarks Summit/Old Forge has been called by insurance companies to two recent dryer fires. We are the Scranton areas leader in smoke, fire and water cleanup and restoration, helping families return to a safe and healthy living environment following any fire disaster.

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