According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an estimated 2,900 dryer fires across the nation every year. These dryer fires can occur in any establishment, not just residential apartments and homes. In fact, one of our owners recently experienced a dryer fire at their physical therapy clinic. Don’t worry, no one was hurt, and no damage was done (except for the dryer). However, it was a wake-up call that dryer fires can happen at any time. In some cases, you can blame the dryer. However, many dryer fires can be prevented with a bit of foresight and maintenance.
Here’s How You Can Prevent Dryer Fires in Your Clinic
Clean the Lint Screen/Filter After Every Load
With all the laundry the average physical therapy clinic does, it’s easy to forget to always check the lint trap. If it’s taking longer for your cloth pillowcases and sheets to dry, that may be a sign that there is some blockage going on.
Check for Blockages in The Exhaust Duct
You don’t have to do this every day but be sure to periodically check the outside dryer vent to ensure it’s clear from any lint or other blockage. Quick tip, you may need to remove or disconnect the duct from the dryer to get to the exhaust duct. Just be sure to reconnect it before you start that next load.
Clean Around the Dryer
When cleaning the dryer, don’t forget to get behind and underneath the dryer. Dust and lint can accumulate in those hard to reach areas over time, leading to potential fire hazard.
Replace Your Ducting
Keep an eye on your exhaust ducting. From time to time aluminum or foil accordion style becomes worn from use. When this happens, you need to replace the worn ducting with new ducting. Also, be sure to regularly inspect your exhaust hose for any kinks or blockages, as this can lead to a buildup of heat within the system.
Turn the Dryer Off When You Leave Your Clinic
It may be tempting to put in one last load before you head home for the evening, but as a best practice, you shouldn’t run your dryer if there isn’t anyone in your clinic to monitor the dryer. In the unlikely (but still possible) even that your dryer malfunctions, you want to ensure there is someone there to grab a fire extinguisher and (if need be) call 911.
With everything that goes into managing a physical therapy clinic, a dryer fire is the last thing you need. By performing regular dryer maintenance and cleaning, you can significantly mitigate this risk and keep your dryer working hard.
Cut back on the amount of time your dryer is in use every week by switching from cloth pillow cases to our EcoPro Pillow Covers. This can reduce the number of total loads of laundry done per week by 50-70%!