Tips for Cleaning Lint Could Prevent Fires

JULY 11, 2005 -- No family wants to see their house in ruins. That can happen when a dryer is not used properly.

Salvador Vasquez is the CEO of a dryer cleaning company in Wilmington. He says lint is often the culprit for starting fires.

He warns clients that emptying the lint filter is not enough. He suggests that anyone who uses dryer sheets should clean their filters with warm water and a little soap. Dryer sheets create an invisible film on the filter.

Captain Chris Elrod with the Wilmington Fire Department says a fire may start if the lint filter is not cleaned.

"Lint has to go somewhere. If it is not going to go into the filter, it's going to go in the dryer somewhere and accumulate where it's not supposed to. So keeping that lint filter clean is very important," says Elrod.

Wilmington residents were amazed to learn how easy they could prevent a fire by cleaning the lint filter.

"I'm very surprised because all the years I've been doing laundry, I've never given a thought that it was creating a danger by having a lint trap there. I just thought cleaning it was sufficient to prevent a fire and to prevent problems in the dryer," says Marian Williamson.

A little tip that takes 30 seconds may go a long way in keeping your dryer in safe working conditions.

Reported by Kacey Gaumer