According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), the leading cause of dryer fires is the lack of regular maintenance. Clothes dryers account for the largest share of appliance and tool fires. On average there are over 15,000 dryer fires throughout North America.
The most common sources of ignition in dryer fires are lint and household dust. They collect within the dryer cavity close to the dryer’s heating element, which can reach temperatures of 550°F. Forensic testing shows that cotton and wool clothing will ignite at temperatures of 250°F. Therefore, a dryer fire is virtually imminent if lint from these clothing materials comes in contact with the dryer heating element. A controlled test conducted by Intertek Testing Services (ITS), showed that small lint fires regularly occur within the dryer cavity and may extinguish as the lint burns off. However, if there is a substantial amount of lint within the dryer cavity a much larger fire can occur and spread throughout the dryer and surrounding area.
A buildup inside the dryer cavity from lint and foreign matter such as bird nests and other debris, can restrict the flow of dryer vented air. This can cause your dryer to not dry properly and efficiently, increasing the chance of overheating, mechanical failure and ultimately fire.
Homeowners should follow these simple steps to keep their homes and families safe.
- Ensure the outside vent cap operates properly and the louvers or flaps open freely.
- Clean and inspect the dryer lint trap before every use and never operate a dryer without a lint trap.
- Make sure the dryer duct is properly installed and is free of kinks. Always use a UL approved dryer duct that is listed and marked for safe dryer venting. Vinyl ducting should never be used.
- Clean your duct with a dryer duct cleaning brush a minimum of four times a year to ensure maximum air flow.
- Replace your duct every 2-3 years to ensure your dryer runs efficiently and safely
- Use a clothes dryer lint brush and vacuum attachment to remove excess lint from within the dryer cavity.
Dundas Jafine offers numerous easy to use dryer venting products such as our ProMax and ProGard “pest resistant” vent caps, UL approved ducts and our ProClean line of cleaning brushes. These products will ensure that your dryer runs safely and efficiently for many years to come.