Gas dryers are slightly less safe than electric dryers, according to Insurance Quotes. Laundry appliances were responsible for over 17,000 home fires between 2003 and 2006. Dryers caused 92 percent of those fires. Regardless of the type of dryer installed in your home, the key to safe operation is keeping the dryer clean.
To operate a dryer safely, reduce dryer lint buildup. Empty the dryer's lint trap after each load. Remove lint from the screen, and wipe the edges of the screen. Before reinstalling the trap, look closely at the screen. Dryer fabric softener sheets cause a buildup that in the mesh that blocks airflow. Submerging the screen in hot water and scrubbing with a toothbrush removes the buildup.
Check the dryer motor and dryer duct for lint problems; cleaning these areas helps to prevent fires. A dryer duct brush with a flexible handle moves easily through the duct to loosen and remove large pieces of lint. Once the duct is clean, turn on the dryer to help to remove the remaining small pieces from the duct wall.
Knowing the signs of lint buildup helps to prevent fires. If the clothes are taking longer to dry or the cabinet is hot to the touch, there is probably an airflow problem. These conditions increase the risk of dryer fires.