Reasons to Never Run Your Dryer When You Aren't Home

You may have a growing list of chores you need to get finished around the house, but one thing you should never do is dry your clothes when you aren’t going to be home.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are nearly 3,000 clothes dryer fires reported each year, with an estimated 5 deaths and 100 injuries reported annually.

So, why shouldn’t you run the dryer when you aren’t home? Because accidents can happen. Outlets can overheat. Wiring problems can occur. Lint can get trapped inside your dryer’s vent and restrict airflow. Many things that could go wrong and result in a fire.

Here are some dryer DO’s for your home:

  • Be sure to have an appliance professional install your dryer.
  • Use the right type of outlet for the dryer’s electrical needs.
  • Have your dryer vent cleaned regularly to prevent lint build-up.
  • Clean out the lint filter before starting each load of laundry.
  • Check the outside wall damper regularly to be sure animals aren’t making nests.
  • Have a professional check gas-powered dryers and connections on a yearly basis to be sure there aren’t any leaks.

Here are dryer DON’Ts for your home:

  • Don’t overload your dryer with too many items.
  • Don’t put anything in the dryer that has come in contact with flammable materials, such as gasoline or cooking oil.
  • Don’t dry anything that has a rubber or plastic backing, such as kitchen or bathroom mats.
  • Don’t cover the wall dampers with a screen because it can block air flow.
  • Don’t leave the dryer running when you won’t be home, or when you’re sleeping.

Even though you think you’ll save some time by drying clothes when you aren’t home, it could cause a disaster. Only run the washer and dryer when someone who knows how to operate the appliances is home.