Very few people realize the importance of clothes dryer fire prevention. However, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an estimated annual 15,500 fires, 10 deaths and 10 injuries due to clothes dryer fires. Several hundred people a year are also subjected to carbon monoxide poisoning from improper dryer vent setups. The financial costs come to nearly $100,000,000 per year. In some cases faulty appliances are to blame, but many fires can be prevented with proper dryer venting.
Lint accumulation and reduced airflow feed on each other to provide conditions ripe for a fire. Lint is a highly combustible material, which, interestingly enough, is one of the ingredients in a recipe for home-made fire starters.
Use of flammable, flimsy plastic or foil duct extenders. Only metal vents should be used. Metal vents also resist crushing better than plastic and foil, which allows the air and lint to be carried out of the system.
Inadequate clearance space between dryer and wall. Many people create problems by putting their dryer right against the wall, crushing the venting material in the process. This results in reduced airflow and lint build-up,
Dryer vents are too long and/or have too many bends, but don't use a dryer duct booster, resulting in lint buildup. When it comes to dryer vents, shorter and straighter is better. Failure to clean the dryer duct on a regular basis..
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