Every homeowner thinks about laundry, but many of them do not think about how there is a chance that their dryer vents are blocked or full of lint. The lint that collects in dryer vents is very combustible and a fire can start very unexpectedly. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there are at least 15,500 fires every year that are caused by dryer vents.

These 8 simple steps can help prevent dryer vent fires:

  1. The dryer duct should be made of solid metallic material. Homeowners should try to avoid vinyl and foil dryer ducts because the grooved surfaces collect lint much easier.
  2. All dryer ducts should be vented to the outside of the house instead of an attic or crawlspace.
  3. The length of the dryer duct should be minimized so that there is less distance for the excess lint to travel and get stuck.
  4. The dryer duct should never be pushed together in order to fit in a smaller space.
  5. Screws should never be used to install dryer vent pipes because lint can become trapped on the curves of the screws.
  6. The lint trap should be cleaned every time the dryer is used.
  7. Lint should be removed from under the lint trap and other areas once a month, so that it does not build up inside the dryer.
  8. Homeowners should never let the dryer run when they are away from home or when they are sleeping. If a problem should occur, the homeowners would not know about it and the results could be deadly.

Homeowners should call a professional to clean their dryer vents every year. The best time to do this is in the spring or summer when other spring cleaning is being done. While it is possible for homeowners to clean the dryer vents themselves, it can be difficult to spot problems if they don’t know what they are looking for. Many homeowners also do not have the proper equipment to thoroughly clean out the dryer vents.

The chimney sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are CSIA Certified, and we participate in continued education throughout the year so that we’re always up to speed on the latest changes in our field. We’re located in Drexel Hill and provide all types of chimney services to homeowners and commercial property owners in the surrounding areas and along the Main Line. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 if you’re interested in scheduling an appointment for a consultation, a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, or dryer vent cleaning.