CLOTHES DRYERS CAN BE A FIRE HAZARD IF NOT MAINTAINED
Clean the lint filter and never leave home while your dryer is running.
As the approaching cool weather prompts people to don their thicker, fuzzier winter clothes, NFPA is cautioning that clothing, and the lint it leaves behind, can catch fire in clothes dryers.
Dryers are amongst the most common types of equipment involved in home fires, ranking third behind stoves and fixed area heaters.
Lack of maintenance was the number one cause of dryer fires. Other specific leading causes were part failure, leaks and breaks, short circuits or ground faults, and combustible materials too close to the dryer. Clothing was the item first ignited in one-third of dryer fires. Dust, fibre and lint were first ignited in more than one-quarter of the incidents.
To avoid such fires, NFPA advises:
* Clean the lint filter before or after each use, and also wipe away any lint that has accumulated around the drum.
* Make sure the dryer is plugged in to an outlet suitable for its electrical needs. * Do not run a dryer without a lint filter.
* Do not leave the dryer running if you go out, in case it malfunctions
* Make sure that the air exhaust vent pipe is unobstructed and the outdoor vent flap opens readily.
* Keep combustibles, such as boxes and clothing, away from the dryer
* Have your dryer installed and service by a professional. Gas dryers should be inspected periodically by a professional to make sure the gas line and connections are intact and leak-free.
According to Meri-K Appy, vice president of public education for NFPA – “We take it for granted that our home appliances will work safely as they should. But we need to take care of these devices to keep them safe. Don’t let fire start in your home because you didn’t clean your lint filter or maintain your dryer”.
If you have any questions or require further information, please call the Port Alberni Fire Department at (250) 724-1351. If you are reporting a fire - dial 911.