Did you know that according to the U.S Fire Administration an average of 15,970 fires are reported yearly. The impact of these fires have cost property owners damages of $238 million dollars. 92% of the reported fires are dryer-related, and approximately 34% of these fires are caused by not cleaning the dryer vent. These dryer-related fires tend to peak in the winter months.
Dryer Safety Tips:
• Clean your lint filter before every use.
• Inspect the area that holds it in place, if you see lint build up it is time to have your unit serviced.
• Check your dryer duct bi yearly. This can be done by disconnecting the discharge at the back of the dryer. Clogged vents can be professionally cleaned or done by purchasing a dryer vent cleaning tool at your local Hardware store.
• Crushed vents or an installation method that restricts air discharge should be replaced immediately. There are multiple connection devices that can be utilized to properly install you dryer. Consult your local appliance specialist for correct piping and vent connections.
• Clean all removed lint and dryer vents from the floor, under the dryer and from behind the dryer routinely. This material can get stuck in the electronics of the dryer causing fire or equipment failure.
• Make sure your exterior vent discharge is clear and allowing proper air flow discharge. IF you see lint, your duct needs cleaned.
• Wash or soak items that have come in contact with flammable liquids multiple times before drying and make sure the items you are drying are designed for the dryer. This includes bathmats, area rugs or clothing with plastic or rubber.
All the above items can have a dramatic affect not only on safety of your laundry area, but also on your utility bills. Obstructed duct work leads to longer dry time and increased energy usage.
Other commonly overlooked safety issues in your laundry areas
Most consumers assume laundry products are safe but despite popular belief, many contain chemicals that can be harmful if left on the skin or even fatal if ingested. Below are some tips on how to properly manage your cleaning supplies and a list of common ingredients that are considered a danger to you and the members of your home:
• ALWAYS read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on use
• Make sure to read the labels on your cleaning products before you mix them to prevent any accidents.
• Keep you caps securely tightened and store ALL cleaning products out of the reach of children and pets.
• Keep cleaners in the original containers – DO NOT reuse containers for storing other liquids.
• Wash your hands after each load and dispose liquids with care. It is a good idea if you do not have a laundry sink to install an eye wash station.
• Mop up spills immediately, as simply drying a spill can still lead to chemical transmission.
For more dryer related safety tips please visit: FEMA
For more safety tips on detergents and other household chemicals please visit: MSDS
Lenny Jesuele is a construction specialist with a 25+ year record of achievement and success managing residential projects up to and in excess of $1MM and commercial projects up to $10+MM. He is dedicated to delivering exceptional customer service and delivering quality projects as Construction Project Manager at Scioto Properties.