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Preventing A Dryer Fire From Heating Your Home

Learning Objective:
• Eliminate clothes dryer fires
• How to clean and maintain dryer vents
• Identify warning signs

This video shows the potential fire hazard that looms in many households. Recognizing the first symptoms of trouble should facilitate having the appliance serviced.
Clothes dryer fires account for 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries annually. Eighty percent of these fires occur in residential buildings. Unlike natural disasters dryer fires could be prevented through education and maintenance of the product. Failure to clean dryer vents is the leading factor contributing to 70% of dryer fires. Other leading factors contributing to dryer fires include mechanical and electrical failures, and misuse of materials or products. A dryer that has to work harder to evacuate lint and moisture can trigger enough heat to cause some dryer components to malfunction and can sometimes produce sparks or even flames.

A misleading notion is that newly constructed homes are less likely to have dryer fires. However the trend in newly constructed home places washers and dryers in nontraditional areas of the house, such as upstairs bedrooms, hallways, bathrooms, kitchens, and closets. These new sites generally require longer dryer vents in order to reach an outside wall. These routes contain sharp turns and bends that navigate through the structure of the home. Dryer vents should not be longer than 25 feet. When lint has to pass through an exhaust that is under a floor or through walls and is more than 6-feet long, it is almost impossible for all the lint to be pushed out of the vents. As a result, lint can accumulate in pockets along the vent where they are harder to reach and clean.

Our house is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. It’s where memories are made and pictures hang on the wall. An ounce of prevention is worth safeguarding our memories.

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