Winter Fabrics and Dryer Fires


Understanding winter fabrics and their impact on increased dryer fires is a common yet frequently neglected concern.


Winter brings us the picture of snow, winter clothes, and seemingly endless days inside our home, however, this is not the only thing that happens during cold seasons. While we are stuck inside our homes, bundled up with extra clothes and blankets, it’s easy to forget to maintain fire safety.


According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), most dryer fires happen during the cold season because we use extra clothes and blankets to keep us warm during winter. Thus, more of these heavy and warm pieces of clothing go into your dryer, and their fibers that easily shed get stuck.

These fabrics produce excessive amounts of lint. Imagine wool, faux fur, nylon, hemp, flannel, cashmere, and cotton. Clothes made out of these materials have fibers that can easily clog the dryer vent and start a fire. When you allow this to happen to your dryer, you are creating a fire hazard in your own home.


The US Fire Administration records an estimated 2,900 home clothes dryer fires annually, which lead to deaths, injuries, and property loss. With such damage, it might be unbelievable, but it is a fact that the leading cause of these dryer fires is a simple neglect of dryer vent maintenance.


Owners fail to clean the dryer vents, and more of these dryer fires occur in the middle of cold seasons, autumn and winter, when we use the dryer more frequently for winter clothes and blankets.


Now that we have mentioned the winter fabrics and their impact on increased dryer fires, something must be done to avoid dryer fires. Since we can’t do anything about winter and the use of winter clothes, the best way to address this problem is proper maintenance of your dryer vents.


Unfortunately, simply cleaning the lint trap is not enough to prevent a dryer fire. You can’t let it do all the work of catching the laundry lint. Without cleaning the vent, socks, rogue lint, and other things from your laundry can clog your dryer vent and a small spark from your dryer can start these combustible items afire.


Here are some of the tips that we can adopt from US Fire Administration campaign for clothes dryer fire safety :



Winter Fabrics and Dryer Fires - Tip #1: Seek an Expert for Installation

During installation, seek professional help to ensure that there won’t be any problem with the setup that could be hazardous. You are not a professional, and so there might be things that you could overlook during installation.


When you set up the clothes dryer properly, you are starting it right, and maintaining it will no longer be a problem.



Winter Fabrics and Dryer Fires - Tip #2: Routine Inspections are a Must


Always check if the electrical plug, outlet, and connection are properly set and working during installation. When installed, inspect the venting system behind the dryer. Check for signs of damages or restriction. This could help prevent bigger problems when you spot the situation early on.


Also, check if your friendly neighborhood animals took refuge in your area and built a nest that could block the outside vent. Remove nests of animals and insects that you can find.



Winter Fabrics and Dryer Fires - Tip #3: Know your Clothes Dryer


Be a responsible dryer owner and understand the instructions and warnings provided in the manual when you receive your clothes dryer. Know what works and what doesn’t. Check on the possible causes of problems that could limit its performance. Check on the possible signs of problems that require maintenance and repair.


If you know what to expect, you would know if there is something wrong. This can help you easily identify problems and potential hazards when it comes to your clothes dryer.



Winter Fabrics and Dryer Fires - Tip #4: Clean Up Regularly

Make it a habit to clean the lint trap before loading and after unloading your laundry. Also, the back of the dryer should be maintained since it is also another place where lint gets stuck. A nylon brush can help clear clogging every six months. Clean the vent pipe every three months.


Since you already know about winter fabrics and their impact on increased dryer fires, that should be enough motivation to clean your dryer regularly.



Winter Fabrics and Dryer Fires - Tip #5: Seek Professional Cleaning and Inspection


Just as you had your dryer installed by a professional, it is also advisable to seek professional help when cleaning and inspecting your dryer. We can only do so much with a nylon brush for regular clean-up, so when your dryer takes too long in drying your clothes, call an expert right away.


Ask for a good clean-up from an expert and clear the lint build up despite regular cleaning. Call a professional if you also need to check gas-powered dryers to make sure that it is leak-free.



Winter Fabrics and Dryer Fires - Tip #6: Secure Your Clothes Dryer


You need to ensure that your clothes dryer is working properly and that there are no external factors that can lead to future problems. One thing you can do is to make sure that the outdoor vent covering opens. This should open automatically when the clothes dryer is on. So, while using your dryer, you can check if it works properly.


You should also consider placing a cover on outside wall dampers. This should be able to keep the rain, dirt, and snow out of your laundry area. However, never use a wire screen or cloth for the cover because they can cause clogging and lint buildup.



Winter Fabrics and Dryer Fires - Tip #7: Don’t Use It if You Can’t Monitor It


Make sure that if you will be away, especially for a long period of time, you disconnect or unplug the dryer. If you are home but you need to go to bed or be anywhere else in the house, don’t use your clothes dryer. You should not leave it running without supervision.



Winter Fabrics and Dryer Fires - Tip #8: Avoid Flammable Materials

You can check combustible materials in your laundry room and keep them in a safe and distant storage area. Also, you should not dry items that could possibly bear even a hint of flammable materials like alcohol, gasoline, or cooking oil. You can always dry them outside, away from heat, with proper ventilation.



Call for Dryer Vent Cleaning Today


Always choose a trusted professional like Southern California Dryer Vent Cleaning to maintain and clean your dryer vent. We specialize in cleaning clothes dryer vents, and only in cleaning clothes dryer vents.


That means you know you’re getting the best of the best and we can never try to take advantage and sell anything that you don’t need.


Call us at (951) 290-3105 now and avoid fire hazards because of an ill-maintained clothes dryer.


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