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Monday, August 12, 2013

Clothes Dryer Fire Safety Tips

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Clothes Dryer Fire Safety Tips



An estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.

Clothes dryer fire incidence in residential buildings was higher in the fall and winter months, peaking in January at 11 percent.
Failure to clean (34 percent) was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.
Dust, fiber, and lint (28 percent) and clothing not on a person (27 percent) were, by far, the leading items first ignited in clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.
Fifty-four percent of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings were confined to the object of origin.



Clean the lint filter before or after each use.
  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Do not operate the dryer without a lint filter. Clean the lint filter before or after each use. Remove accumulated lint around the drum.
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting materials should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
  • Make sure the air exhaust bent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating.
  • Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
  • Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
  • Do not leave a dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.
  • Never dry items that have come in contact with flammable substances, such as cooking oil, gasoline, paint thinner, or alcohol.
  • Keep the dryer area clear of things that can burn, such as boxes or clothing


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