WA Fire Marshal gives tips on how to prevent dryer fires

Theses Consumer Products Caused The Most Injuries In 2020
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- Total reported injuries: 88

- Reported deaths: 11

Clothes dryers pose a risk of fire, particularly from users failing to clean out the lint filter before use. Other causes can include an electrical malfunction or the clothes themselves catching fire. The U.S. Fire Administration reports 2,900 fires each year that result in $35 million in property loss in addition to the deaths and injuries. Many of the fires happen in the colder months, during the fall and winter, with most occurring in January. The Fire Administration also recommends removing lint from the vent pipe every three months.

SPOKANE, Wash. — While dryers seem like a harmless way of drying your clothes, they actually start quite a few fires each year.

Clothes dryers caused 4% of structure fires in 2014 through 2018. In Washington, 352 fires were caused by appliances, including dryers.

The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office is asking the public to practice dryer safety by practicing these tips:

  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter
  • Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is the failure to clean them
  • Clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged
  • Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months
  • Have your dryer cleaned regularly by a professional, especially if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry
  • Have gas-powered dryers inspected every year by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are together and free of leaks
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time
  • Don’t overload your dryer
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed

While doing laundry is an everyday routine, so is keeping your appliances in good working order to keep your family safe.

READ: The Spokane Valley Fire Department offers tips for cooking safely on Thanksgiving