IRMI Tip of the Month: Maintain Your Clothes Dryer

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According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report, there are approximately 10,000 annual residential fire losses in which the source of the fire is in the clothes dryer or vent. Dryers are the third most common type of equipment involved in fires, ranking behind stoves and fixed area heaters. Clothes dryers can catch fire due to excessive lint build-up in the exhaust pipe or inside the dryer; this lint build-up is often out-of-sight. As a result, you should take the following steps to reduce the chance of your dryer starting a fire.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the vent pipe.
  • Keep the dryer vent clean and unplugged. Check for a plugged vent if the dryer does not dry clothes efficiently.
  • Remove and clean the lint screen before each use.
  • Keep all combustibles away from the clothes dryer.
  • Hire a qualified technician to periodically inspect gas clothes dryers.

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