At least once a week – maybe more – you likely do laundry. After you wash your clothes, you throw them into the dryer – probably without too much thought about it. But did you know clothes dryers cause about 2,900 fires each year in residential buildings? According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), lint is a leading cause of combustion, accounting for 28% of all residential dryer fires.
What Is Lint?
Lint is made up of small fibers from clothes and other debris found on or in your clothes. It’s created as your clothes tumble in the dryer’s drum. While much of it collects in the dryer’s lint filter, some of it can become trapped inside your dryer and the rest is carried on the moist air through the vent system, where it sticks and accumulates.
How Can Lint Cause Fires?
Lint is a highly combustible material. It can collect on the electrical wiring inside and outside of your dryer. If a spark occurs due to wiring issues, lint can fuel this spark, leading to a fire. Also, since lint can build up on your dryer’s heating element and in the vent system, it can cause your dryer to overheat due to overwork. A spark can then occur, igniting any lint present.
What Can You Do to Prevent a Lint Fire from Occurring?
There are several steps you can take to protect your home from a dryer lint fire:
- Clean the lint filter before every load – even if it’s just a small amount.
- Clean the lint filter with soapy water and a nylon brush at least every 6 months or more frequently if it becomes clogged.
- Don’t operate your dryer without the lint filter in place or if it becomes damaged or clogged.
- Clean the outside of your dryer regularly, especially the back where lint can build up.
- Clean the inside of your dryer regularly. Remove the lint filter, and with a lint brush or vacuum attachment, remove any accumulated lint inside your dryer. At least once a year, have a qualified service technician vacuum the lint out of your dryer.
- Disconnect, inspect and clean the dryer vent regularly. Or, hire a professional dryer vent cleaning company, likeT.J.’s Chimney Service in Greenfield, IN, to clean those hard-to-reach vents. Our technicians will inspect your dryer ducts for any issues affecting the operation of your dryer and clean the lint from your dryer vents. A thoroughdryer vent cleaning not only can protect your family from a fire, but it can help increase your dryer’s efficiency and lifespan.Contact T.J.’s Chimney Service today to schedule yourdryer vent inspection and cleaning.