Overheated Clothes Dryers Can Cause Fires!

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Overheated Clothes Dryers Can Cause Fires!

I was asked a couple of days ago to provide some additional info for a customer that wanted to have her dryer vent preventive maintenance done - She wanted it done, her husband did not. Here is the document I sent her from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Call Ductz today to have your Dryer Vent Cleaned and inspected! 262-242-2205 In SE Wisconsin or 1-877-Ductz-USA For a location near you! Or visit www.ductz.com

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Overheated Clothes Dryers Can Cause Fires CPSC Document # 5022
Updated June 2003

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 1998, clothes dryers were associated with 15,600 fires, which resulted in 20 deaths and 370 injuries. Fires can occur when lint builds up in the dryer or in the exhaust duct. Lint can block the flow of air, cause excessive heat build-up, and result in a fire in some dryers.

To help prevent fires:

  • Clean the lint screen/filter before or after drying each load of clothes. If clothing is still damp at the end of a typical drying cycle or drying requires longer times than normal, this may be a sign that the lint screen or the exhaust duct is blocked.
  • Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct periodically. Check the outside dryer vent while the dryer is operating to make sure exhaust air is escaping. If it is not, the vent or the exhaust duct may be blocked. To remove a blockage in the exhaust path, it may be necessary to disconnect the exhaust duct from the dryer. Remember to reconnect the ducting to the dryer and outside vent before using the dryer again.
  • Clean behind the dryer, where lint can build up. Have a qualified service person clean the interior of the dryer chassis periodically to minimize the amount of lint accumulation. Keep the area around the dryer clean and free of clutter.
  • Replace plastic or foil, accordion-type ducting material with rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct. Most manufacturers specify the use of a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct, which provides maximum airflow. The flexible plastic or foil type duct can more easily trap lint and is more susceptible to kinks or crushing, which can greatly reduce the airflow.
  • Take special care when drying clothes that have been soiled with volatile chemicals such as gasoline, cooking oils, cleaning agents, or finishing oils and stains. If possible, wash the clothing more than once to minimize the amount of volatile chemicals on the clothes and, preferably, hang the clothes to dry. If using a dryer, use the lowest heat setting and a drying cycle that has a cool-down period at the end of the cycle. To prevent clothes from igniting after drying, do not leave the dried clothes in the dryer or piled in a laundry basket.

Send the link for this page to a friend! Consumers can obtain this publication and additional publication information from the Publications sectionof CPSC's web site or by sending your publication request to info@cpsc.gov.



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Karen Gentry>>Charlottesville, Virginia Real Estate Professional
RE/MAX Excellence-Charlottesville VA - Charlottesville, VA
Thanks for sharing.  I did not realize there was that many fires due to dryers.
May 06, 2008 09:55 AM #1
Neal Russo
Ductz Indoor Air Professionals - Mequon, WI

Hello Karen, I'm glad I was able to help you learn something new today Now go and get your dryer vent cleaned!


May 06, 2008 09:57 AM #2
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