Fire safety often begins in the laundry room where deposits of lint can build up in dryer vents like plaque in arteries. This lint can catch fire and spread throughout the home – gutting it from the inside.
Professionals like Tyler Johnson, of Dryer Vent Wizard, say vents should be professionally cleaned once a year.
“On average, in Ontario there’s a dryer fire every two days,” says Johnson.
Warning signs for homeowners:
- Machines that take more than one cycle to dry a load
- The top of the dryer becoming abnormally hot
- The presence of lint behind and around the dryer
Manually cleaning the lint filter should be done after every load, but this filter only captures around 25 per cent of the lint circulating.
The vents connected to your dryer should also be made of rigid, or semi-rigid aluminum rather than plastic or thin foil-like aluminum, which won’t be able to contain the flames once the lint inside catches fire.
But fire safety extends well beyond the laundry room.
Acting District Chief George Warner of Toronto Fire Services says homeowners should avoid plugging too many appliances into electrical outlets, keep stove tops clean and uncluttered and never use extension cords in the kitchen.
Working fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should also be installed on ever floor of the home.