Dryer fires still a concern, despite new standards

Cleaning out your lint filter regularly is a good start... but it is not enough to prevent dryer fires.

It could happen in your home. We found almost 3,000 clothes dryer fires across the United States every year – 100 injuries, five deaths and $35 million in property loss.

Here are two major warning signs: clothes taking too long to dry and your laundry room warmer than normal. Both indicate your vent is dangerously overloaded with lint.

Here's how to prevent a fire:

*clean the lint screen before every load
*clean behind the dryer where lint builds up.
*check and clean the exhausts vents at least one a year
*finally...remove the back and vacuum inside your dryer every two years.

A new voluntary standard for dryers took effect last year that's supposed to contain a fire inside the dryer. But, the consumer product safety commission says the new standard won't eliminate the leading cause of fires -- lint build up.

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