Clothes Dryers

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Clothes dryers are popular domestic and commercial manufactured goods which, when poorly maintained or incorrectly used, can increase the risk of fires.

Reduce the potential for fire in the following ways:

  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on using the dryer.
  • Always ensure the lint filter is cleaned before every load.
  • If you use anti-static sheets scrub the lint filter with warm soapy water and then rinse and dry thoroughly every month. This will remove the waxy build up on the filter.
  • Move the dryer at least once a year and vacuum lint that has collected behind and underneath.
  • Ensure there is adequate room for ventilation around the dryer. Do not store items on or directly against the dryer.
  • Never use the dryer for drying clothes or rags that have been used to absorb flammable liquids or oils. You need to wash clothes worn while using oils or sprays in hot water and detergent to remove such substances before putting them in a dryer.
  • Never use the dryer to dry clothes that have not been washed. Unwashed clothes have a greater build-up of contaminants, especially oils and grease. Lint from these clothes will be more combustible and can ignite when hot.
  • Never turn the dryer off before the cool down period is over. Fires have been caused from clothing being left bunched up while still hot inside the dryer. Clothes dryers are designed to allow clothes to cool down before the cycle is finished. See the MFS Fact Sheet - Self Heating and Spontaneous Combustion.
  • Do not leave your clothes dryer running while no one is home.
  • If the dryer appears faulty or is malfunctioning, have it repaired before further use.
  • Any repairs to your clothes dryer must be carried out by a qualified tradesperson in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Download a PDF English version of this Home Fire Safety Fact Sheet. (PDF 422KB)

For further advice ring the Community Safety & Resilience Department 8204 3611, Country callers 1300 737 637

e-mail                 samfscommunitysafety@sa.gov.au

or call in to          99 Wakefield Street, Adelaide during business hours.