and Whys of a Dryer Fire
A clothes dryer works by forcing hot air through a
turning drum. Wet clothes placed in the drum are then dried by the moving
hot air. It is possible for a full load of wet clothes to contain as much
as one and a half gallons of water.
Lint is created from the clothes as the water is removed
and the clothes dry. While much of the lint is trapped by the dryerís
filter, lint also is carried through the venting system, together with
The accumulation of lint, both in the dryer and in the
dryer vent, reduces the airflow and creates a highly flammable fuel
In addition to the accumulation of lint, blockage in
dryer exhaust vents also can occur from the nests of small birds and
animals or from bends in the venting system itself. A compromised vent
will not exhaust properly to the outside. Overheating may result.
If enough heat is produced to ignite the lint itself or
nearby combustible items, such as the clothes in the dryer or combustibles
left nearby, the engineered safety mechanisms are compromised and fire
Source: U.S. Fire
Dryer Safety &
Always make sure the lint filter is in place & make sure
to clean it out after each use. Failure to clean out lint traps is the main
cause of dryer fires.
Make sure the dryer is plugged into an outlet that is
suitable for its needs.
Make sure the dryer is properly vented and that dryer vent
flaps are not freezing shut or sticking (especially in winter). Remove lint
buildup inside the vent by vacuuming occasionally.
Pull out the dryer occasionally to vacuum away any lint
behind or underneath the dryer. Learn how to remove the front panel of a
dryer and vacuum inside to remove built up lint.
Do not leave the house unattended when the dryer is on.
Do not leave flammable items near the dryer (clothes,
rags, cleaning supplies, etc.).
A dryer is an electrical (or sometimes gas) appliance,
make sure itís serviced by a professional only.
Itís recommended your dryer use UL- listed rigid aluminum
or steel duct or spiral-wound aluminum flex hose, NOT white vinyl hose.
Have a functional smoke detector placed in the laundry
room (somewhere near the dryer).