There are many common causes for fires within homes and buildings.
From overheated circuits to kitchen fires, theycan be almost impossible to prevent altogether. But what is most important in preventing these natural disasters before they happen is being aware of all possible causes and hazards within the home.
One of the many common causes includes dryers. Not many individuals are aware of the dangers they are posing towards their home and pets when leaving the home with the dryer running. If at any time the air ducts, filters, or vent becomes blocked, the machine can quickly become overheated and start a fire.
If you have already experienced a dryer fire within your home, don’t hesitate to contact your local ServiceMaster. Emergency fire damage restoration services will be needed to remove the smoke and soot residue from the drywall, flooring, ceiling, and other building materials.
What Causes Dryer Fires
What is most important to know about preventing dryer fires is knowing what exactly causes them. A dryer fire can occur from one or more of the following:
- Lack of maintenance. At any time the air ducts, vent, or filter become blocked with lint, the hot air is not able to circulate throughout the system, causing the machines to work harder and overheat.
- Hazardous chemicals
or improper materials. Any clothes that are dried while soiled with flammable substances, such as gasoline or paint thinner pose a dangerous risk to everyone within the home. Also be careful with foam-backed rugs and the paint within athletic shoes as they are not made to be put in a dryer.
- Improper insulation or damaged parts. Whether the air vent was damaged or the air ducts were not connected properly, these issues will result in insufficient air flow throughout the system.
- Wrong venting materials. Weak materials like vinyl, plastic, and aluminum foil can easily be crushed and/or develop kinks, reducing the air flow throughout the system. The dryer will then work harder to dry the clothes.
Facts to Know about Dryers
- About ½ gallon of water is contained within one full load of clothes. When water comes out of the clothes, so does the lint.
- Dryers are one of the most expensive appliances to use within the home because of the amount of heat they generate. More loads will mean higher costs.
- Gas dryers are much less expensive to run than electric dryers.
How to Prevent Dryers from Causing House Fires
- Remove all lint from the dryer and air ducts. This includes the air vent, filters, ducts, as well as under and behind the machine itself. You can also have a professional clean the interior of the machine to prevent accumulation.
- Pay attention to what is put in the dryer. Any clothes with cooking oil, grease, cleaning products, gasoline, or finishing oils and stains would be better to wash by hand and air dry. This way you won’t be contaminating the washing machine water or risking a fire from within the dryer.
- Make sure metal ducts are installed. Ducts that are made out of plastic or foil reduce the air flow by either trapping lint or by easily developing kinks and other damage.
- Turn off the dryer when leaving. For the sake of you, your loved ones, and your home, turning off the dryer before leaving the house will prevent a disaster from occurring while you are away.
- Ensure that the outlet used by the dryer is capable of handling the required amount of power. Overloaded circuits are another common cause of quickly sending the structure up in flames.
- Have gas dryers inspected frequently. While they are more efficient to use than electric dryers, it is crucial to make sure that the gas line is connected properly and it does not have any leaks.
- Clean air ducts. Professional air duct cleaning is crucial for the dryer to perform efficiently. It can also lower your electric bill. Schedule an appointment at least every 3 years, or when you notice significant amounts of dust around the house.
Emergency Fire Damage Restoration
While there are steps that we can take to prevent property fires, accidents do happen whether you are at home or not. In any case of a property fire caused by a dryer or other hazard, don’t hesitate to call 911 as well as emergency fire damage restoration services.
ServiceMaster is available nationwide and is also available 24/7 with advanced products and equipment ready to restore your home both efficiently and effectively. Our technicians also have years of experience in performing these services, responding right away, carefully handling damaged materials, and even restore personal contents to their original conditions. Don’t hesitate to give ServiceMaster a call at any time of day; their technicians are always standing by!