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Danbury Firefighters Extinguish Blaze Inside Clothes Dryer

This fire was contained to the clothes dryer. There are safety tips to remember that can prevent fires in your dryer.
This fire was contained to the clothes dryer. There are safety tips to remember that can prevent fires in your dryer. Photo Credit: Danbury Fire Department

DANBURY, Conn. — Danbury firefighters doused a small blaze in a dryer early Thursday at a home at 20 Scuppo Road, firefighters said.

Upon arrival, units found smoke coming from the home, said fire spokesman James Gagliardo.

Firefighters found a small blaze, which was extinguished and contained to the dryer unit inside the home, he said.

The Danbury Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire.

"We want to remind everyone that taking care of your clothes dryer is important for home fire safety. The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them," said a fire department statement.

"An estimated 2,900 home dryer fires happen every year, causing five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss."

Here are tips on clothes dryer safety:

Clothes dryer do’s

Installation:

  • Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional.
  • Make sure the correct electrical plug and outlet are used and that the dryer is connected properly.
  • Read manufacturers' instructions and warnings in use and care manuals that come with new dryers.

Cleaning:

  • Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. In addition, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged.
  • Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months.
  • Have your dryer cleaned regularly by a professional, especially if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry.

Maintenance:

  • Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
  • Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow and dirt.
  • Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
  • Replace coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid, non-ribbed metal duct.
  • Have gas-powered dryers inspected every year by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are together and free of leaks.
  • Check regularly to make sure nests of small animals and insects are not blocking the outside vent.
  • Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that can burn.
  • If you will be away from home for an extended time, unplug or disconnect the dryer.

Clothes dryer don’ts

  • Don’t use a clothes dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.
  • Don’t overload the dryer.
  • Don’t use a wire screen or cloth to cover the wall damper. They can collect lint and clog the dryer vent.
  • Don’t dry anything containing foam, rubber or plastic. An example of an item not to place in a dryer is a bathroom rug with a rubber backing.
  • Don’t dry any item for which manufacturers' instructions state “dry away from heat.”
  • Don’t dry glass fiber materials (unless manufacturers' instructions allow).
  • Don’t dry items that have come into contact with anything flammable like alcohol, cooking oils or gasoline. Dry them outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, away from heat.
  • Don’t leave a clothes dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.

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