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How to prevent your dryer from causing a fire

Due to Quebec's long, cold winters, we tend to use our clothes dryers a lot. But did you know that this appliance, specifically the lint it produces, can cause fires if it is not used and maintained properly? Here are a few tips from L'Unique General Insurance to avoid having your load of sheets go up in flames, taking your home with it!

Proper use of your machine

  • Clean out the lint filter after each use.
  • Don't leave the dryer running when you aren't home.
  • Monitor the time it takes to dry your clothes. If it takes longer to dry them or if they are hotter than usual at the end of the cycle, check that the exhaust duct is not blocked with lint.
  • Never dry the following items in a clothes dryer:
    • Fabrics soaked with wax, oil or flammable solvents, even if they have already been washed
    •  made from natural or synthetic rubber
    • Pillows or any other article containing foam
    • Use fabric softener sheets, since liquid softener products can accelerate fabric combustion, especially of fleece, terry cloth and velour.

Don't forget exhaust duct maintenance

  • Every six months, inspect the exhaust duct and clean using a vacuum cleaner.
  • Periodically ensure that hot air is being discharged outside. In the winter, check that vent covers are not blocked by ice or snow.
  • Choose exhaust ducts made from stainless steel. Flexible vinyl or aluminium ducts are striated, so are more likely to cause lint to pile up. Avoid plastic exhaust ducts at all costs, since they can melt or act as a combustible at high temperatures.
  • Opt for short, straight ducts. If there are fewer curves, lint is less likely to collect. Experts recommend a maximum length of six meters. If you can't avoid longer or curved ducts, use a duct with a wider diameter.
  • If the duct goes through an unheated area, insulate it to avoid temperature differences in winter causing condensation, which could make lint collect more rapidly.

Care about the environment...and your wallet? Use a clothes line when you can. Your electricity bill will be lower and you won't need to clean your ducts as frequently.

Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses. Feel free to contact him or her!

 

(By L'Unique General Insurance)

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