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Letter from the Chief-Dryer Safety Tips

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Firefighter Alex Niedziela douses a dryer fire on 7/5/14
Dear Neighbors,

Did you know that your clothes dryer is probably one of the most dangerous appliances in your home? That's because even when they are working properly, dryers and washing machines were the cause of one out of every 22 home structure fires in that last ten years.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean the lint filter (32%), followed by unclassified mechanical failure or malfunction (22%). Eight percent were caused by some type of electrical failure or malfunction.

There are some simple easy steps you can take to make sure this modern convenience doesn't become a fire statistic:

1) Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional. This is important because, in addition to the electrical connection, many dryers require a gas line connection as well. Also, make sure you use rigid or flexible metal venting (NOT PLASTIC venting).

2) Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.

3) Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.

4) Make sure the air exhaust vent 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. The cost is about $75.

5) Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.

6) Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.

7) Follow the manufacturer's operating instructions and don't overload your dryer.

8) Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.

Using these 8 simple tips, you can reduce the dangers of a dryer fire in your home.

Stay Safe!
Dan McConnell
Chief of Department




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