As the days are getting colder and with fewer hours of sun, I start to use the dryer more regularly during the fall and winter months. Along with more drying cycles comes greater lint buildup. Therefore it's crucial to recognize the very real danger of the dryer as a potential source of a fire if it's not maintained or vented properly.
On average there are about 39 dryer fires each year in Toronto, 18 in Vancouver, and 2,900 fires in the U.S. caused by improperly maintained dryers.
Make cleaning your dryer vent duct-work part of your regular home maintenance schedule, just like having your furnace checked and cleaned, and replacing the batteries of your smoke detectors. It could save your life.
Here are some basic dryer maintenance tips to help prevent a dryer fire:
1. Clean the lint trap before or after each use. NEVER run the dryer without a lint trap. I like to even wash it every 3 months to remove any residual bacterial buildup.
2. Remove the dryer vent duct from the dryer and clean it out with a dryer vent brush and vacuum it out. Remember to clean out the animal / bird guard on the outside of the house. If your dryer vent duct is too long or too difficult to clean yourself, hire a professional. Ensure your dryer vent duct is only made from approved aluminum.
3. Install a smoke alarm near the dryer if you haven't done so already. If your dryer is powered by natural gas, install a combination smoke / carbon monoxide detector.
4. Never run the dryer at bedtime or on your way out of the house.
5. Don't overload your dryer.
Clean out the lint buildup inside dryer vent.
Periodically vacuum the lint trap.
Remember to vacuum out the lint trap compartment.
Wash and scrub the dryer lint trap.
Here is a short video on how to clean out the dryer vent duct.
Once your dryer is clean and free from built-up lint, you could add a Lavender Dryer Sachet for static-free and lightly scented laundry with certified organic lavender. Simply toss into dryer with laundry. Good for 25 loads.