In Massachusetts in 2011 there were 99 clothes dryer fires that caused one civilian injury and $828,250 in damages. The average dollar loss per clothes dryer fire was $8,336. Over half, 55%, occurred in one- and two-family homes.
Clean the Lint Filter After Every Load
Remember 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.