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Can Your Dryer Be Deadly?

Can Your Dryer Be Deadly?


It’s easy to think of kitchen mishaps, wiring problems or unattended candles as the cause of the typical house fire, but there’s a less known risk lurking in your laundry room. Every year, over 15,000 house fires stem from dryers. In 2010, these fires caused the deaths of 51 people. And, sadly, at least 1/3 of these fires were preventable: failing to clean the dryer was the top cause of laundry room-related fires.

So what can you do prevent fires from happening in your laundry room? Here are a few quick  safety tips:

1. Always remove lint from the lint filter before and after using your dryer. And don’t even think about running the dryer without a filter in place. Clean the filter with a nylon brush 2-3 times per year.
2. Don’t forget to check the drum for lint, too.
3. Don’t overload the dryer.
4. Is it taking longer than usual for your clothes to dry? That’s a good sign that your dryer vent is clogged with lint.
5. The further your dryer is from an outside wall, the larger the fire risk. If your dryer isn’t up against an outside wall, the vent will be longer, and the harder it is for the lint to escape.
6. Dryer vents need a thorough cleaning about once a year.  You can clean your dryer vent yourself, but certified professionals are probably the best way to go. They typically cost $100-$150.

Read more: Bed & Bath, Eco-friendly tips, Green, Health & Safety, Home, Household Hints, News & Issues, Non-Toxic Cleaning, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, , , , , ,

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
3:18AM PST on Jan 25, 2015

I use a flexible dryer hose to vent my dryer so I just change it out 2x a year rather than try to clean it. The hose is inexpensive and it takes less than 5 minutes to swap it out.

8:59AM PST on Jan 26, 2014

Yikes! This is potentially dangerous business! I am writing down on my calendar to check the vents 2x's per year, especially since my vent is not up against a wall; which the article says makes it much more fire prone!. With all that life demands, it can be hard to remember, that's why I am calendering the dates for upkeep immediately! Thanks for an important article!!!

4:15AM PST on Jan 21, 2014


7:24AM PST on Jan 19, 2014

Have been accused of being a compulsive lint cleaner. Can't stress it enough Read the above comment from the fire fighter. Please!

11:09AM PST on Jan 18, 2014

Great advice.

11:01AM PST on Jan 16, 2014

Important to remember -thanks for the reminder!

4:29AM PST on Jan 5, 2014

Wow going to go clean that pipe right now!

7:15PM PST on Dec 29, 2013


7:25PM PST on Dec 25, 2013

Thanks for sharing. The best way to avoid fires from a drier would have to be not using a drier and instead air drying your laundry = no fire risk, no wasted electricity and its free.

8:38AM PST on Dec 23, 2013


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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