Dryer Vent Fires Can Be Prevented
Home fires can ruin homes and lives. Even if no one is hurt in the fire, the valuable items that are lost can be emotionally damaging.
Some house fires can be prevented. With proper care and maintenance, many household appliances that are known fire hazards can be monitored, and their risk reduced.
Dryers are one appliance that is a known risk for fires. Over 15,000 dryer fires occur every year. These fires lead to 19 deaths, 300 injuries and over $80 million in property damage clean dryer duct.
The reasons for the start of these dryer vent fires can often be attributed to three problems: improper venting, lint build up, and improper installation. All of these issues can be prevented.
Improper installation can be avoided by having a professional install the appliance. One issue with installing the dryer is the flexible dryer vent hose that runs between the dryer and the wall. The shorter and straighter this hose runs, the better it is for the dryer.
If a dryer has a long hose with many turns, the dryer has to work harder in order to run properly. This long hose can also attribute to lint build up and improper venting.
Moist, hot air needs to vent out the dryer to keep it from overheating. Improper venting and lint build up are two reasons why a dryer can overheat.
Lint traps are designed to catch lint that comes off clothes but there are times when lint bypasses a trap. It can attach itself to the lining of the dryer hose.
If the hose is not cleaned properly, the lint can continue to build up and reduce airflow, causing the dryer to overheat.
In addition to proper installation, proper maintenance is also required. Clean the lint trap after running the dryer to reduce the amount of lint that may escape the trap.
Annual lint cleaning is also recommended to insure the dryer runs properly. This includes removing the lint trap to clean the area inside the dryer and the vent hose.
It is also important to not ignore the signs that the dryer is suffering from lint build up. If the dryer takes a long time to dry clothes, or is hot after it runs you should check to see if lint has built up in the trap, hose or duct work.
Often homeowners can clean the lint from a dryer. With a vent brush and a vacuum cleaner with a hose, they can access most of the areas where lint tends to collect.
If for some reason a person can’t clean a dryer, they shouldn’t ignore the maintenance. While hiring a professional may sound expensive, the possible consequences of not hiring a professional dryer vent cleaner can cost far more.
Dryer vent fires are preventable. With proper care and routine maintenance, it is possible to prevent the three main causes of dryer fires. This work can be done personally or professionally, but it needs to be done consistently to help prevent the possibility of a dryer vent fire.