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Of course, if your dryer catches fire, we know that the first thing you are NOT going to do is search online for what to do however, we hope that you read this and remember this information in the unfortunate event that if your dryer ever does catch fire, you will be prepared. Every year, firefighters respond to almost 14,000 home fires that were caused by dryers, so it is not uncommon. About 30 percent of these are due to lint accumulation. Discovering that your dryer has caught fire can be terrifying, but knowing what to do can make all the difference. Here are some steps to take if you ever find yourself in this emergency, along with tips on how to prevent it from happening in the future.

Steps to Take if Your Dryer Catches Fire:

  1. Stay Calm and Act Quickly: The first and most important thing to do if your dryer catches fire is to stay calm. Panicking can cloud your judgment and make the situation worse. Immediately switch off the dryer and unplug it from the power source if it’s safe to do so.
  2. Evacuate Safely: If the fire is small and manageable, you may attempt to extinguish it using a fire extinguisher designed for use on electrical fires. There are many types of extinguishers so make sure you are aware of the type you have. However, if the fire is spreading rapidly or producing smoke, evacuate the area immediately and call emergency services.
  3. Close the Door: If you need to leave the room to evacuate or call for help, close the door to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading further throughout your home.
  4. Alert Others: If you live with others, alert them to the fire and ensure that everyone evacuates the premises safely. Do not attempt to re-enter the building until emergency services have declared it safe to do so.
  5. Call Emergency Services: Dial the emergency services number (such as 911 in the United States) as soon as possible to report the fire and request assistance. Provide them with your location and any relevant details about the situation.

Prevention Tips to Avoid Dryer Fires:

  1. Regular Maintenance: Regular maintenance of your dryer is essential for preventing fires. Clean the lint trap after every load of laundry and periodically check and clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct to remove lint buildup.
  2. Proper Ventilation: Ensure that your dryer is properly vented to the outside to allow for adequate airflow. Blocked or restricted dryer vents can cause heat to build up inside the dryer, increasing the risk of fire.
  3. Avoid Overloading: Avoid overloading your dryer with too many clothes at once, as this can impede airflow and cause the dryer to overheat. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for load capacity and drying times.
  4. Check for Damage: Regularly inspect your dryer for signs of damage, such as frayed cords, loose connections, or worn-out components. Replace any damaged parts promptly to reduce the risk of fire.
  5. Unplug when Not in Use: When your dryer is not in use, unplug it from the power source to prevent electrical malfunctions or short circuits that could lead to a fire.
  6. Duct/ Dryer Vent Cleaning: It is recommended to get your dryer vent professionally cleaned every 1 to 3 years. Not only will this help prevent fires, but it will keep your dryer running as efficiently as possible. When this is dirty, it will take your clothes longer to dry and end up costing you more money. 

While a dryer fire can be frightening, knowing how to respond calmly and effectively can help minimize damage and can reduce the risk of a dryer fire in your home. If you have any concerns about the safety of your dryer or need assistance with maintenance or repairs, don’t hesitate to reach out to Tobin Restoration. We’re here to help you keep your home safe and secure.