With the holidays coming up, we’re all excited about snow, hot chocolate, and cozying up inside with extra blankets and sweaters. But, there’s a potential problem with our dryers.
The things we love about the holidays can actually make fires more likely in our dryers. To make sure your holidays stay safe and enjoyable, make sure to follow these tips to avoid dryer fires during the holidays.
Luckily, if you take some simple steps ahead of time, you can lower the chances of having a fire and keep your home safe during the festive season.
7 Tips to Avoid Dryer Fires During the Holidays
1. Regularly Check the Vent Cover
While a snowy landscape creates a picturesque holiday scene, it can pose a threat to your dryer’s efficiency. Accumulated snow at the dryer vent opening can lead to freezing, hindering proper airflow and potentially causing a fire or carbon monoxide buildup.
Safeguard against this by routinely inspecting the exterior vent cover for any obstructions that could hinder airflow. Ensure a safe and efficient holiday season by staying vigilant.
2. Empty the Lint Screen Before Every Load
A simple way to avoid dryer fires is to clean the lint screen before each load for good airflow. But, during the holidays, thicker fabrics like new sweaters produce more lint.
If you ignore this extra lint, it becomes a big fire risk, messes up your dryer’s efficiency, and can even damage it. Keep things safe and your dryer working well during the holidays by making sure to clean the lint screen regularly.
3. Be Present When the Dryer is Running
Even with the holiday rush, doing laundry late at night is common. But leaving the dryer on while you’re asleep or away is risky—it could lead to a dangerous fire.
Stay alert by being there when the dryer runs, so you can react quickly if needed. Choose safety over convenience, especially during the holidays, to avoid unnecessary risks and keep your peace of mind.
4. Use the Air-dry Setting or Lower-heat Option
Winter often brings higher electric bills, and while clotheslines may not be ideal, there are energy-saving options. If time allows, opt for the air-dry setting or lower heat on your dryer. This reduces energy consumption, cutting winter heating costs and preventing heavy loads from overheating in the dryer.
By minimizing the risk of overheating, you not only save on bills but also reduce the chances of a fire. It’s a smart, energy-efficient approach to winter laundry.
5. Keep the Laundry Area Free From Clutter
During the busy holidays, stuff like gift wrap and guests’ stuff can end up near the dryer. But it’s super important to keep them away to avoid fires. Keep the laundry area neat and tidy to be safe.
And don’t put Christmas trees close to the dryer—they can catch fire easily. Before washing and drying, take off any pine needles stuck to clothes by hand. These simple steps help make sure your holidays stay safe and happy.
6. Check your Smoke Alarms
Before the holidays kick in, ensure your smoke alarms are in working order to prevent potential injuries, especially when guests are around. Surprisingly, most dryer fires occur during the dry winter months.
It’s a good practice to check alarms at least twice a year, and doing so before and after the holidays adds an extra layer of safety during this fire-prone season. Prioritize your family’s safety by keeping those alarms in check.
7. Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning
For homeowners, an annual cleaning of dryer vents is strongly recommended. This ensures proper functionality beyond holiday worries.
Ticking this off your to-do list before the holidays contributes to a safe and serene holiday season, allowing you to enjoy the festivities with peace of mind.
How to Avoid Dryer Fires During the Holidays
As we wrap up these crucial tips to safeguard your home during the holidays, remember, that a little precaution goes a long way. From clearing lint screens to avoiding nighttime dryer runs, each step plays a role in fire prevention.
To boost your safety, think about getting your dryer vent cleaned by a professional before the holidays. It’s like giving your home a health check, making sure the dryer works well and lowers fire risks.