You already know about the dangers of household cleaners and that they need to be stored out of the reach of children and pets. That isn’t the danger I’m talking about today. I’m talking about the fire hazards and carbon monoxide hazard that looms in your laundry room. Many people don’t realize that there are approximately 15,000 house fires each year due to the dryer alone. Let’s take a look at how this happens and what we can do to prevent it.
Dryer Vent Fires
Dryer vent fires occur about 15,000 times per year. This may seem like an unlikely number, but these things are recorded by insurance companies so that they can review statistics and contrive new ways to prevent such catastrophes from happening. The lint that sticks to the dryer hose walls and dryer vent is highly combustible. One spark of static electricity or too much heat trying to escape the dryer, and poof it all goes up in flames.
Regular maintenance and cleaning of the dryer vent and hose will keep it in check and working properly. You may choose to go the DIY route or hire a professional C-DET (Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician) to clean it for you. Please remember that cleaning a highly combustible substance is dangerous, and dryer lint is extremely messy.
Never dry laundry without the lint screen in place inside the dryer. Large pieces of lint that would normally be captured in the screen will become stuck in the hose or vent instead, effectively adding to the blockage that is building within them.
Don’t ever overload the dryer. An overloaded dryer must work much harder to effectively dry clothing. This will create more heat and increase the chances of a dryer vent fire.
Don’t leave the dryer running while you’re out running errands or in bed asleep. A fire could start at any time within the hose or the vent, and the home could be seriously damaged or destroyed by the time you return.
Improper installation of the washer or dryer can lead to electrical problems throughout the home or a fire in the laundry room. An overloaded circuit is nothing to play around with. Always make sure to have your washer and dryer installed by someone who is familiar with electricity and the specific electrical needs of large, heat-producing appliances. Never attempt to repair electrical problems on your own.
Gas powered dryers present a whole new problem – carbon monoxide. The vent and hose must be working properly at all times with a gas dryer. If it becomes blocked, carbon monoxide may be forced back into your laundry room and find its way into the populated areas of your home. Carbon monoxide takes the lives of more than 200 people per year. Don’t take the chance. Have your gas dryer serviced and cleaned at least once per year.
When to Call a Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician
A C-DET is an expert in the field of dryer exhaust systems. We’re fully trained and capable to handle problems with the exhaust hose and vent from your dryer. Call us if you notice that your dryer isn’t working as efficiently as it once did, if it overheats, if you haven’t had it cleaned in the last year, or if you simply want to be reassured that the system is working properly.