State Fire Marshal’s Office urges vigilance regarding clothes dryer safety


Laundry is likely part of your everyday routine, but do you know how important taking care of your clothes dryer is to the safety of your home?

The National Fire Protection Association reports that the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is the failure to clean them, according to a news release from the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

In Washington state, appliances such as clothes dryers were the 10th-leading cause of ignition for fires in homes with over 7 million in dollar loss.

Follow these simple steps to prevent clothes dryer fires in your home:

• Clean the lint filter before each use.
• Maintain the dryer’s drum clear from accumulation of lint.
• Clean lint out of the vent pipe quarterly.
• Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating.
• Make sure the correct plug and wall outlet are used.
• Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional.
• Turn off the dryer when you leave the home or go to bed.
• Choose a dryer that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
• Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper airflow.
• Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions, and don’t overload your dryer.
• Fabrics that have been exposed to flammable cleaning agents should be air-dried after they have been washed.

For more information, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-596-3929.

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