Springtime is fast approaching and is the time of the year many individualsdo extra cleaning and general maintenance around their homes. Have you started making your “To Do” list of things that you need to complete? When you do, be sure to include maintenance to your clothes dryer. For some helpful tips, please review the following:
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an average of 7,000 annual residential fire losses in which the source of the fire is in the clothes dryer or vent. Dryers are the third most common type of equipment involved in fires, ranking behind stoves and fixed area heaters. Clothes dryers can catch fire due to excessive lint buildup in the exhaust pipe or inside the dryer; this lint buildup is often out of sight. As a result, you should take the following steps to reduce the chance of your dryer starting a fire.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing the vent pipe.
- Keep the dryer vent clean and unplugged. Check for a plugged vent if the dryer does not dry clothes efficiently.
- Remove and clean the lint screen before each use.
- Keep all combustibles away from the clothes dryer.
- Hire a qualified technician to periodically inspect gas clothes dryers.
Source: IRMI Risk and Management
Becky Calhoun, CPCU, AU
Senior Personal Lines Research & Development Specialist