Tips to Prevent Fires in the Laundry Room

The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires is failure to clean them. Here is a list of safety tips, as provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to help keep your laundry area safe and fire-free.

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
  • Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
  • Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are in tact and free of leaks.
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
  • Dryers should be properly grounded.
  • Check the outdoor vent flap to make sure it is not covered by snow.
  • Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing.
  • Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances, like gasoline, paint thinner, or similar solvents should be laid outside to dry, then can be washed and dried as usual.

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