Risk of Fire and Injury from Home Dryers

I wanted to share some information that I came across about the dangers associated with dryers in homes.  According to this recent article by Brian Dakss at cbsnews.com, dryers account for 15,000 house fires every year.   That number was a bit of a surprise to me.  An engineer with Underwriters Laboratory, John Drengenberg, mentions in the article that a common cause of these fires is lint.  The lint can build up in the lint trap, according to Drengenberg, and cause excessive heat and eventually a fire.

So, what should we do?  Drengenberg advises folks to clean the lint trap before or after every load, and each year the pipes and exhaust vent should be cleaned thoroughly.  Also, we should not put certain items stained with oil or gasoline in the dryer, and should avoid putting rubber or plastic items in the dryer as well.

One clue to look for to determine if lint is building up is that your clothes are not drying as well as they should.