Fire Prevention in Clothes Dryers

Tips for Preventing Fires in Clothes Dryers

Clothes dryers are practical, convenient appliances commonly found in many residential and commercial buildings. Dryers are a potential fire source, however, and it is important to take measures to assure they function properly - and safely.

Here are a few tips:

Installation

  • Have the dryer professionally installed
  • Install a rigid duct or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct to vent the dryer directly to the outside
  • Provide adequate ventilation space around the dryer unit

Operate safely

  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe operation
  • Provide training to everyone who will be operating the dryer
  • Never overload the dryer. Overloading places stress on the drive motor, creates venting problems and results in excessive lint accumulation
  • Lint buildup is a common cause of fires. Clean lint filters before and after using the dryer. Always operate the dryer with the lint filters in place
  • Avoid drying items containing foam, rubber and plastic
  • Avoid drying clothing and other materials that have had contact with flammable products such as alcohol, cooking oils and gasoline. The high heat inside the dryer could cause the materials to ignite. It’s best to wash these itemsm twice and then dry them outdoors
  • Never run a dryer with the premises unattended. Dryers should be checked periodically while they’re operating.
  • Keep storage clear of the area around a dryer to provide for adequate ventilation and to reduce the fire hazard

Provide regular maintenance

  • Gas fired drivers should be checked at least annually to assure the fuel line is in good condition and properly attached
  • Dryer vents and ductwork should be cleaned periodically to help reduce lint build up
  • The dryer chassis should be cleaned by a qualified technician periodically

For more information concerning fire safety related to dryers, please visit: