SBC Fire warns to check dryers regularly

Star Report

It is common for a clothes dryer to build up lint inside and eventually catch fire. Most of the time the lint burns itself out inside the machine leaving a burning smell and damage to the appliance. There are times however, when the flames spread, destroying a family’s home, belongings, and sometimes life.

Here are several important steps homeowners can take to keep this from happening:

Clean the lint screen. Always clean the lint screen for every load. Even if there is just a small amount of lint on the screen, clean it anyway.

Check your vent hose. Make sure your vent hose is in good shape.

Replace coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid non-ribbed metal duct.

Clean your vent line regularly. It’s very important that the vent line (from the wall behind the dryer to the outside flap) is not restricted or clogged up with lint.

Keep the area around the dryer clean. In the event that your dryer does have a lint fire, don’t give it more fuel to destroy your home. Make sure there are no articles of clothing, boxes, cleaning supplies, or anything else behind, on top, or around the dryer.

Clean the lint out of the inside of the dryer regularly. Your dryer needs to be opened up and vacuumed out periodically. Most dryers today are not easily accessible for the homeowner. Unless you know how to take your dryer apart and put it back together, you’ll need a technician to do this.

Make sure your gas line is in good shape. If you have a gas dryer you should check your gas line. If it looks old or questionable, you should replace it. Make sure the line is not kinked.

By keeping your dryer clean, not only will you significantly reduce the fire hazard, you will also save money as your dryer will run more efficiently and last longer.