Dryer Vent Cleaning

Dryer Vent Cleaning

On these cold winter days, there’s nothing nicer than warm
clothes coming out of the dryer. However, if you’re not careful
those clothes can catch fire.

The 1998-99 annual report from the fire marshal’s office shows
that 18 clothes dryer fires caused more than $350,000 worth of
damage that year. In recent months, there have been similar
incidents in the province.

That’s why the provincial fire marshal’s office wants to remind
the public of the dangers of clothes dryer fires.

“Many things such as chemicals, heat and lint can ignite a fire
inside and outside dryers. People must be aware of the risks of
fires caused by dryers,” said provincial fire marshal Robert
Cormier.

Institutional dryer fires may be caused by cleaning solutions
left on materials. Cleaning rags or mops, for example, may not
have all of the cleaning solutions removed during the wash cycle.
The heat from the drying cycle may cause the materials to ignite
and start a fire within the dryer. The fire marshal is urging
institutions to thoroughly rinse materials before laundering. He
also recommends that a staff person be present while the dryer is
operating.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Private residents are also at risk of dryer fires. What most
people do not realize about residential dryer fires is that some
fires start after clothing has been removed from the dryer. A
fire can be started merely by stacking hot, damp clothing.
Sometimes the mixture of heat and moisture can cause combustion.

“We’ve investigated instances where a person put all of their
newly washed and dried clothes on the bed or in the closet, only
to hear their smoke detector go off,” said Mr. Cormier. “This is
a risk that the public needs to be aware of, so they can take
steps to protect themselves from fire.”

The fire marshal offers these tips for safe clothes drying:

  • Clean the lint screen after every load. Not only will your
    clothes dry quicker, your dryer will operate more efficiently and
    reduce the risk of fire;
  • Softener sheets can cause a waxy build-up on the lint screen.
    Wash the lint screen in warm soapy water and dry it completely
    before replacing it in the dryer;
  • Have the interior of the dryer, lint screen and exhaust duct
    cleaned by a qualified service technician every 18 months;
  • Keep an eye on your dryer while it’s operating;
  • Rinse materials with chemicals on them before washing and
    drying;
  • Do not leave dryer on and go to bed;
  • Do not operate the dryer if the lint screen is clogged or
    missing;
  • Do not block the flow of ventilating air;
  • Do not exhaust the dryer into any vent connection, gas vent,
    chimney or crawl space. This could create a fire hazard from
    expelled lint.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Preventative maintenance safety tips:

  • – Clean the lint trap after each load;
  • – Inspect and clean the vent monthly;
  • – Keep the area around the dryer clear of combustible items;
  • – Inspect the gas line for corrosion or “kinks;”
  • – Inspect the electrical supply cord for fraying, cracking or exposed wires;
  • – Do not leave damp items in a warm or hot dryer. Start the
    drying cycle immediately.

For more information on dryer fire risks contact your local fire department

Dryer Vent Cleaning

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