Perhaps nothing scares homeowners more than the thought of a home fire. A home fire can cause thousands in property loss, destroy precious family treasures and threaten the safety of your family. To reduce your risk of a home fire, have your clothing dryer vents professionally cleaned.
Dryer vent fires by the numbers
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), washers and dryers were responsible for an estimated 16,800 structure fires in the United States in 2010 alone. Those fires resulted in 380 injuries, 51 deaths and $236 million in property damage. The NFPA lists dirty dryer vents as the leading cause of dryer vent fires, as 32 percent of dryer fires were caused by dirty dryer vents. With that in mind, it is recommended that dryer vents be cleaned by a professional dryer vent technician at least once per year — more often for dryers that see high volumes of laundry.
Dryer vent cleaning is particularly important in newer homes that have dryers located in interior rooms of the home. Where older homes often have short dryer vents that exit through exterior walls, newer homes with laundry rooms in bathrooms, mudrooms and closets often have long, twisting dryer vents that are more prone to clogs and more likely to catch fires.
How dryer vent cleaning works
When we clean your dryers, the technicians from A to Z Chimney Services and Dryer Vent Cleaning use our rotating brushes to loosen and release the lint from your dryer vents and a high-powered vacuum to cleanly pull any of that lint out. We also will inspect your dryer vent to ensure that it is the metal recommended by the NFPA, and to ensure that the vent is properly sized, properly installed and free from any damage or defects.
Additional dryer fire prevention
In addition to annual dryer vent cleaning and inspection, there are some steps you can take to help lower your home’s risk of a clothing dryer fire. First and foremost, clean your dryer’s lint screen in between each load of laundry, and never run the dryer without the lint screen in place. Periodically pull out the dryer and clean behind it, as lint can find its way out of the vent and build up behind the dryer. Also perform regular checks of the exterior dryer vent: Make sure that it isn’t being intruded upon by vegetation and verify that the flap on the vent’s exterior opens and closes when the dryer is in use. Finally, be on the lookout for the warning signs that your dryer vents are clogged. Those signs include longer than normal drying times, clothes that feel excessively hot when they are removed from the dryer, high temperatures building up within the laundry room when the dryer is running and a burning or moldy smell in your laundry room.
To reduce your risk of a dryer vent fire that could damage your home and put your family at risk, call A to Z to schedule your dryer vent cleaning today!