Lint can cling to and clog up your dryer and its vent, decreasing air flow and efficiency. A confluence of lint, a highly combustible material, the heat of the dryer and potential electrical or static spark can produce a fire hazard. According to the U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Data Center 2,900 residential clothes dryer fires are reported each year and “cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.” Granted, it is not a common occurrence, but who wants to be a statistic? This type of house fire can be prevented with proper dryer venting and cleaning.
Signs Your Home Could Be At Risk For A Dryer Vent Fire:
- Your dryer doesn’t dry your clothes. Clothing does not dry completely after a normal drying cycle. Drying time may take longer than 35 to 40 minutes.
- The laundry-room space where the dryer is being operated gets hot.
- The perfume from your dryer sheets smells stronger than it used to during the drying cycle.
- You notice a musty odor after the drying cycle.
- Clothes are curiously hot to the touch when you try to take them out immediately after drying. If the clog doesn’t allow the heat and moisture out the machine will work hard to continue to try to dry.
- Debris and lint are noticed when you look inside the exterior dryer vent opening.
- You notice large amounts of lint collects in the lint trap after operation. It is reasonable to think your lint trap captures all the lint and all you need to do as a responsible homeowner is to clean it out after each load of laundry. The reality is a large amount of lint sticks to the inside the dryer and the vent. You may even find lint around and below the lint filter.
What You Can Do:
- The leading cause is failure to clean the dryer and its vents so cleaning is crucial. Use a lint brush or your extension vacuum attachment to remove lint from under the lint trap and any other reachable places on a regular basis.
- Only allow your dryer to run for 30-40 minutes per load of laundry. If it is running too long there may be a problem.
- Don’t run you dryer while you are out of the house or asleep.
- Use liquid fabric softener instead of lint-producing dryer sheets.
- Have your dryer professionally cleaned by a qualified appliance service technician every 1-3 years, depending on usage. Call Oasis to clean your vents. Cleaning your vents and dryer can actually pay for itself in less than a year with improved energy efficiency since less drying time and heat is required.
- Check for inadvertent kinking or crushing of the dryer duct, especially in tight spaces. Kinking also prevents effective venting and lint will collect there.
Call Oasis to schedule your Duct &Vent Cleaning Service Today!
Clothes dryer fire safety outreach materials. (Dec. 27, 2016). US Fire Administration: FEMA. Retrieved from: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/clothes_dryers.html
Clothes Dryer Fires in Residential Buildings: 2008–2010. (August 2012). Tropical Fire Report Series. Volume 13, Issue 7 / U.S. Department of Homeland Security ; U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Data Center • Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727 www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/; Retrieved from: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v13i7.pdf.