So Soft, So Fluffy, and Yet So Dangerous
Lint buildup causes nearly 1,000 home dryer fires annually.
It accounts for 34 percent of the 2,900 dryer fires that cause an average of five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss every year.
How can something so soft and delicate in your California home also be so dangerous?
Keep It Clean
Lint forms when tiny bits of fabric detach from items as they tumble in the dryer. The pieces collect and form a soft but solid batt that catches fire like kindling.
Cleaning your dryer is the only way to avoid lint fires. Clean the lint trap before and after you dry a load of clothing. Clean the dryer vent at least once a year.
You can rest easy with Enviro Heating & Air on the job. Let our qualified pros clean your dryer vent for 50 percent off when you schedule your fall heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) maintenance at the same time. The special is valid through November.
Fall is the perfect time for both vent cleaning and HVAC maintenance. Preventative maintenance will prepare your heating system for chilly weather. Dryer vent maintenance will get your appliance ready for the holidays, which generates loads of laundry.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), more home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.
Fire Safety Tips
- Always use the lint trap when drying laundry.
- Clean lint from the drum. Clean behind the dryer and remove clutter and clothes baskets from around the appliance.
- Check the outdoor vent occasionally while the dryer is operating. You should feel air escaping from the vent, and the vent flap should move. If you don’t feel the exhaust, call Enviro Heating & Air. One of our qualified technicians can check for a blockage and remove it.
- Do not dry any items that include foam, plastic, or other materials that could melt or clog your dryer. A worn bathroom rug with a crumbling rubber backing may not only cause a fire in your Petaluma home it also may damage your washer.
- When drying laundry, stay home and stay awake so you can keep tabs on the dryer.
- Laundry tainted by gasoline, grease, cleaning products, or other flammable liquids should air dry. If you must use a dryer, wash the clothing a few times before placing it in the appliance on a low heat setting.
- Remove laundry from the dryer as soon as it is dry.
Knowing When to Clean Your Vent
Laundry that takes longer to dry or feels damp after a drying cycle may signal the need for a vent cleaning. Excessively hot laundry, an overly hot dryer, or an outdoor vent flap that doesn’t move may indicate a clogged dryer vent.
If your dryer emits a burning odor, lint buildup may be the cause.
DIY lint project
After removing lint from your dryer vent, you likely will dispose of it in the garbage. If you are a fire pit enthusiast, you might want to keep some lint on hand as a fire starter. The National Park Service suggests packing toilet rolls with lint, storing them in a dry place, and then using them in a fireplace or campfire.