According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), dryers and washing machines were involved in one out of every 22 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments from 2006 to 2010. That’s a lot of laundry-related fires per year. The heating related averages for 2007 through 2011 are just as startling. You can find the statistics on your own but I’d like to discuss 2011 alone – 53,600 reported home structure fires which caused more than 400 deaths, 1500 injuries, and $893 million in property damage. Now that I have your attention, let’s go over some safety procedures for dryer vent fires and chimney fires.
Safety Procedures for Chimney Fires
Failure to properly clean creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment (chimneys) contributed to 28% of heating-system-related fires between 2007 and 2011. Preventative measures include a yearly inspection, and regular cleaning. You can take the first steps yourself by looking up your chimney with a bright light. If you see creosote buildup, call a certified chimney sweep immediately.
Familiarize yourself with the proper functions that you should expect from your fireplace, flue, and chimney. If you have any problems or suspect that something may be wrong, don’t hesitate to call a certified chimney sweep. A simple unnecessary call to repair something minor is much better than the loss of your entire home.
Safety Procedures for Dryer Vent Fires
An astounding 32% of washer and dryer fires (that I mentioned in the first paragraph) were due to failure to clean the appliance. Dryer lint is very highly flammable, and must be cleaned from the lint screen, the hose, and the vent. Cleaning the lint screen is a much easier process; you simply remove the fuzz and lint from the collector near the front of your dryer. Cleaning the hose and vent are much more detailed jobs. They’re all a lot messier!
Inspect your washer and dryer to make sure they are functioning properly at least once a year. If you find something wrong with them, call a handyman or an appliance repairman to fix it. Don’t let problems, no matter how small, linger for an extended amount of time just because you don’t want to be bothered by the repair process. The alternative is the risk of a house fire; you choose.
Who Should You Call to Clean Your Dryer Vent?
Some people think it seems odd to call a certified chimney sweep to clean your dryer vent, but it’s true. We have the proper tools to clean both your chimney, flue, and your dryer hose and vent. I am certified in Philadelphia and enjoy meeting homeowners in the greater Philly area. Don’t fall for all the hoaxes out there, make sure you find someone who is certified. Call for a free estimate and free consultation any time. Always make sure they can provide references, business license, and certifications.