With pots on the stove, most people wouldn't think of straying too far from the kitchen. Danger signs are everywhere. Pets and kids can knock pots off the stove. Fires can start if grease gets too hot. But the stove is not the only appliance using high heat in the home. Clothes dryers use heat to dry and fluff clothes all the time. Although most people are careful to keep their eye on the stove when cooking, they think nothing of leaving a dryer in the basement, garage or utility room unattended for an hour or more.
The Association of Home Appliances Manufacturers urges clothes dryer owners to clean lint filters after each load and check and clean vent systems periodically. This helps improve air flow and energy efficiency while reducing the chance of overheating and fires. Despite several improvements in dryer construction and safety, several thousand fires started by dryer lint occur each year.
Like the oven and stove, dryers use extreme heat on flammable materials. Other tips for preventing dryer fires and improving appliance efficiency include:Occasionally remove the filter and clean with a nylon brush and hot, soapy water.
Avoid drying clothes that have ever had any type of oil or other flammable liquid spilled on them, such as alcohol or gasoline.
Replace plastic or vinyl exhaust hoses with rigid or flexible metal venting.
For more information on dryer lint safety, go to http://www.ul.com/consumers/dryers.html.