According to Consumer Reports, each year, firefighters across the country respond to around 14,630 home fires caused by clothes dryers.
"Dryer fires are responsible for nine deaths, 420 civilian injuries, and $222 million in property damage annually," says Marty Ahrens, a spokesperson for the National Fire Protection Association.
Fires are often discovered by neighbors when a homeowner has left home, leaving their dryer unattended. Unattended running dryers often hide fire risks like clogged vents or lint filters, clothes stained with flammable substances, or outdated ducts.
Remember to have your vents and ducts inspected and cleaned regularly. If you're noticing your dryer taking longer than usual to dry laundry, you may have a blocked duct. One way to test for this issue is to go outside and look at the exterior dryer vent. If you don't feel exhaust air while you're dryer is running, your duct may be clogged with lint.
If someone in your household has been exposed to flammable substances like gas, cooking oil, or paint thinner, it's a good idea to wash those clothes separately, and more than once, then hang them to dry. If it's necessary to put them in the dryer, use your dryer's lowest heat setting and a cooling down cycle.
It is always a good idea to have your dryer ducts cleaned periodically by a professional like Gator Clean. Contact us to schedule an appointment.