Landlord Tenant Q&A with CARL L. FRAZIER, B, (R)

Q. I have a washer and a dryer in my rental. The dryer has a lint trap that I can remove and clean. But, the dryer is not vented to the outside and it does not have silver exhaust vent tubing going to a bucket of water. The person I pay rent to says all I need to do is to remove the lint from the lint trap but when I went online to look up the type of dryer I have, it says the lint trap is not sufficient – it says there should also be the exhaust vent tubing or it is a fire hazard.

What do I say to my landlord? I really like the convenience of having the dryer in my unit.

A. Excellent question. First and foremost, I would print that page from the internet and send it to your owner! Dryers are one of the leading causes of fires in homes. Lint buildup in, on, and around dryers is a real problem. Improper dryer venting is a common safety problem. Here are a few tips to keep your clothes dryer running safely and efficiently:

* Use metal dryer ducts to help prevent dryer fires. Consumer Reports says that flexible dryer ducts made of foil or plastic are the most problematic because they can sag and let lint build up at low points. I haven’t personally seen many metal ducts, however, except in walls. Ridges can also trap lint. Metal ducts, either flexible or solid, are far safer because they don’t sag, so lint is less likely to build up. In addition, if a fire does start, a metal duct is more likely to contain it. But a foil duct is better than no duct.

* No matter which kind of duct you have, you should clean it regularly. In addition, remove the visible lint from the lint screen each time you use your dryer. This not only will reduce the risk of a fire, but your clothes will dry faster and your dryer will use less energy. If dryer film is a worry, there is certainly no harm in occasionally cleaning the lint filter with warm soapy water and a small brush.

* Clean inside, behind, and underneath the dryer, where lint can also build up.

* Clean the lint trap after each use.

* Take special care drying clothes stained with volatile chemicals such as gasoline, cooking oils, cleaning agents, or finishing oils and stains. Wash the clothing more than once to minimize the amount of these chemicals on the clothing, and line dry instead of using a dryer.

A dryer fire may also occur if improper items are placed inside for drying. Items that should not be placed in a dryer include athletic shoes with rubber soles, rain boots, plastic items such as shower caps, foam-backed rugs, and items that have been stained with cooking oil or other flammable substances. These items can slowly begin a fire or even ignite spontaneously when placed inside a hot dryer.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/info_7992656_causes-dryer-fires.html#ixzz31YuHaXJW

Your owner really should get one of those indoor lint trap buckets for you but if they don’t, get one yourself. They are relatively inexpensive and will save on energy cost and be a lot safer. And cleaner! You won’t have lint flying around every time you use your dryer!

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