Oakville Fire reminds residents to regularly maintain household appliances
Tue, 26 Nov 2013
Improperly maintained dryers are one of the leading causes of home fires
According to the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office, faulty or improperly maintained household appliances like dryers, washing machines, dishwashers and slow cookers are the cause of at least one fire per day in Ontario. In fact, a recent dryer fire in Oakville resulted in an estimated $40,000 cost to the homeowner for cleanup and rebuilding.
“The Oakville Fire department responds to many household appliance fires because regular maintenance is not being carried out. Almost all of these fires were preventable,” said Oakville Fire Chief Lee Grant. “Not only do we recommend turning off or unplugging appliances when not in use, but we stress that someone should always be home when running them. I’d prefer to come home to wet laundry than a home fire any day.”
Ontario Fire Marshal’s statistics reveal that improperly maintained household dryers cause one in every three residential dryer fires. Homeowners are reminded to take the following precautions:
- Determine the straightest and most direct venting path to the outdoors to reduce the likelihood of lint accumulation in bends or elbows.
- Use rigid or flexible metal ducting for venting to the outdoors over other duct products. Plastic or metal foil ducts are more prone to kinking, sagging and crushing which leads to lint build up. Further, plastic ducting is also more prone to ignition and melting.
- Clothes dryers that are designed to be located in closet type spaces or enclosed rooms (e.g. in apartments) should have sufficient incoming air for proper operation (as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions).
- Regularly remove the lint that accumulates in the lint screen, metal ducts and exhaust vent/hood. Clean the inside of the dryer cabinet periodically per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Inspect and clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry.
- Regularly inspect the air exhaust to ensure it is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap opens when the dryer is operating.
- Turn the dryer off when you leave home or when you go to bed.
- Ensure there are working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas.
- Exhaust the dryer indoors.
- Dry materials or fabrics that have been saturated by chemicals, oils or gasoline (e.g. mops and fabrics saturated with wax, flammable solvents or vegetable oils). Even after washing, these substances can ignite during the drying cycle.
- Dry natural or synthetic rubber, rubber coated sneakers, foam pillows or any garment with foam padding (e.g. blouses with shoulder pads, bras, bicycle shorts).
- Dry garments previously cleaned with dry-cleaning fluid.
For more information visit home fire safety page.
Public Education/Special Projects Officer
Fire Prevention Division
Oakville Fire Department
905-845-6601, ext. 3602