The U.S. Fire Administration reports that close to 3,000 dryer fires are reported every year, resulting in hundreds of injuries and dozens of deaths. Furthermore, these fires cause an estimated $35 million in property damage. These fires are often caused by homeowners simply putting items in the tumble dryer that do not belong there. At Reno’s Appliance, we’re dryer experts and wanted to offer this list of items that should never be put in your dryer.
- Rubber backed rugs: Sure, these rugs that keep you from slipping and sliding in your bathroom are small enough to fit inside your tumble dryer, but the rubber on the back won’t stand up to the intense heat and could cause a dryer fire.
- Fabric stained with flammable liquid: If you’ve spilled oil, gasoline, alcohol, or anything else flammable on your clothes, then be sure to never place them in your tumble dryer. The intense heat can ignite these volatile liquids even after a washing. Better to let these clothes air dry.
- Any item labeled “dry away from heat”: If a piece of clothing should be kept away from a dryer, then it will be printed right on the label. Sometimes, those instructions are to help extend the life of a delicate garment. But often, the label is there because the item in question may increase the risk of a dryer fire.
- Super large loads: It’s tempting to want to load up your dryer thinking it will save time. But super large loads that contain even the most benign fabrics can cause excess heat to build up, and in turn, cause a fire.
In addition to keeping those items out of your tumble dryer, you can take these other steps to prevent dryer fires:
- Clean the lint trap: One of the biggest dryer mistakes you can make is to never clean the lint trap. Lint is highly flammable, so make sure you clean the lint trap after every load. In addition, every few weeks you should remove the trap and use a nylon brush to dig deep and pull out any lint that the trap may have missed.
- Clean the ducts: At least once a year, make sure you clean the duct that vents to the outside. Hire a professional if it makes things easier for you. Also, make sure the vent opening on the side of your home is free from debris.
- Use a professional for installation. Anytime you get a new dryer, make sure it’s installed by a professional—especially if it’s a gas dryer. A professional can ensure everything is properly connected and there are no gas leaks.
- Use metal dryer ducts: Metal dryer ducts are less prone to sagging and lint build up than foil or plastic ducts. Metal is also better at containing any fires that may start.
- Clean up: It’s not just what goes in your dryer that may catch fire, but what’s around your dryer as well. Make sure you periodically sweep up any lint and debris that’s accumulated around dryer. And be sure to store all flammable liquids far away from the dryer.
- If you’re out, turn it off: Never run the dryer while you’re out of the house. If a fire starts while you’re gone, then you won’t be able to stop it early. In addition, if you’re asleep, it may be too late before you realize that your house has caught fire. For you own safety, use the dryer only when you’re home and awake. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in your laundry room in case of emergency.
- Upgrade as needed: The older your dryer is, the more likely it is something can go wrong. If you think it’s time for a new unit, then stop by Reno’s Appliance. We’re proud to carry dryers from top manufacturers, including Amana, Electrolux, Maytag, Whirlpool, and more.
We all love the convenience of having a high-quality tumble dryer. Following the few simple tips above will help ensure you never have to experience a dryer fire.
Reno’s Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno’s Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno’s sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to view our wide selection of appliances.