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Dryer Fire Safety Information
Posted On: Dec 23, 2008

Dryer Fire Prevention


 NFPA Dryer Fact Sheet

 Prevent Dryer Fires flyer PDF

In Massachusetts in 2007  there were 117 clothes dryer fires that caused two civilian injuries, two firefighter injuries, and an estimated dollar loss of $641,032. More than 60% occurred in 1 & 2 family homes.

 

Clean the Lint Filter After Every Load

The public should be reminded to clean the dryer filter screen after each load of laundry, to clean the outside vents twice a year and to occasionally vacuum the motor area of the dryer. If materials such as cooking oil, solvents and other combustible or flammable liquids were not removed completely during the laundry cycle, heat from the dryer may cause them to ignite. This is the reason that mop heads should not be put into the dryer. An adult should be at home whenever the dryer is in use and the home should have working smoke alarms.

Dryer Fires Prevention Tips At-A-Glance:

  • Clean the filter screen after each load to prevent lint buildup, which can cause fires.
  • Stay home when the dryer is in use.
  • Clean the vents to outside twice a year to clean out any accumulated dust and lint.
  • Vacuum the motor area. The dust and lint in the vent area can ignite if it gets hot. You may need to remove a panel in order to get to the motor area.
  • Commercial dryers should be cleaned out regularly because of their frequent use and shared venting system.
  • Don’t dry mop heads in the dryer! The dryer’s heat can ignite the chemical residue on mop heads.
  • Keep the surrounding area clean. The dryer’s heat may ignite anything left too close to the dryer.

Vent Check International’s website http://www.vcisafety.org/dryer_vent_fires.cfm has useful information about dryers and how to prevent a fire in your home. The site also provides vent check products and companies that clean vents in your area. Vent Check International is approved by the USFA.

Information is from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.


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