Dryer lint buildup is a dangerous fire hazard every day. During the holidays, our live Christmas tree can be hazardous as well. So, which would you guess is the MOST dangerous – your Christmas tree or your dryer lint? If we took a match to a dry Christmas tree as well as to a ball of lint, both would go up in flames instantly. Home-Tech wants you to be safe in your home all year round. Please review the following safety tips.
A Wet Tree is a Safer Tree
Although Christmas tree fires don’t happen often, when they do, they can be serious. According to the NFPA’s website, 1 in 18 reported fires starting with a Christmas tree led to a death. The flames engulf a tree in seconds and then leap to other household goods. In Florida, a Christmas tree fire can be even more serious because of the extreme heat here. In case no one’s told you, it doesn’t get that cold here in Florida…even in December.
In southwest Florida, most of the live Christmas trees for sale are cut and transported from tree farms up north. Once the trunk of the tree is cut, it immediately begins to seal off, which dries out the tree. Because of the transport time and time sitting on the lot, these northern trees can already be dry when you buy one. Choose carefully. Feel the needles. Do not get a tree with the needles falling off. Once home, cut off the bottom 2” of the trunk. This “opens” the trunk back up to absorb water.
- Immediately place the tree in a stand filled with fresh water.
- Check the water level every day. A wet tree is a safer tree.
- The tree must be 3 feet away from any source of heat.
- Do not put it near candles, fireplaces, radiators, or vents.
- Don’t block a doorway with the tree.
- Use light strands that have been independently tested in a laboratory.
- Check the lighting manufacturer’s instructions for strand safety.
Once your tree starts dropping needles, it is a fire hazard. Dispose of it immediately. Do not leave it in your home, garage or up against the house. Avoid a fire around the holidays by remaining aware of your tree’s needles!
Dryer Safety – Lose the Dryer Lint
Dryers are typically a very safe household appliance, but dryer lint can be something truly dangerous if it’s not disposed of correctly. There are a number of things you can do to keep your dryer from being a fire hazard. Clean out your lint trap each time you start a load.
- Go outside and look at your dryer vent. Is there any air flowing? If not, it’s a sign of a build up.
- Plastic or foil, bendable duct work is dangerous, as it traps lint. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the venting system and install what is recommended.
- De-clutter the area around your dryer. Pull the dryer out and clean behind it (where lint can build up).
- Don’t dry clothing that has flammable liquids spilled on it, like gasoline, cleaning agents, cooking oil or furniture stain. It is best to hang it outside to dry. Also, do not leave this clothing in the dryer or piled in a laundry basket once it’s dry.
Is your clothing still damp after the drying cycle completes? Is it taking longer than normal to dry? Those are signs of lint build up. If you haven’t had your dryer vent professionally cleaned recently, Home-Tech recommends Amerovent for the job.
Home-Tech’s Appliance Specialists are here to answer any questions you may have. Stop by our showroom which is open to the public Monday – Friday from 9am to 6pm or give us a call.