There was a home fire that destroyed a house in our neighborhood back in the Spring. Thankfully everyone was safe. I drove by the house this past weekend and saw signs posted that the rebuilding of this home is beginning soon. I learned the source of this destructive fire was the dryer vent.
There are companies that do dryer vent cleaning. FEMA estimates that 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
Here are some tips from the National Fire Protection Agency on dryer vents….
Dryer safety tips Published on February 20, 2013
The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires is failure to clean them.
- Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
- Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
- Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
- Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
- Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
- Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
- Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
- Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
- Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.