Modern PURAIR® News

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Better Prevention for Dryer Vent Fires

Feb 20, 2019

Dryer vent fires are now more likely than chimney fires in Canadian homes. And in the US each year, firefighters respond to nearly 15000 home fires caused by clothes dryers, according to the National Fire Protection Association, accounting for nine deaths, 420 civilian injuries and $222 million in property damage.

The news isn’t all bleak, though. Prevention is key. You can substantially reduce the likelihood dryer fires by following some essential steps.

What Causes Dryer Fires and How to Prevent Them

Lint is the big fire hazard when it comes to dryers. Lint builds up over time from small fragments of clothing and other fabrics that are cycled through the dryer. You can imagine what happens when enough lint has built up, is dry and staticky, and is then combined with high heat (temperatures of 125F or more).

It’s not so much the lint trap that poses fire risk, but the dryer vent down the line. Still, the lint and material can get shaken loose from the trap and make its way back, leading to combustibility.

Therefore we can say that lint traps are a good place to start with prevention.

Every time you finish a load of laundry, before you put that laundry back into the drawers & closets even, go ahead and clean out that lint trap. While some people wait for periodic intervals to do this, really, why wait? Will you remember? Will it be too late? Cleaning after each load is simple, and takes less than a minute.

Other tips for prevention:

  • Do not leave the dryer running when nobody is home or after you’ve gone to bed
  • Make sure you are using a lint filter
  • Do not overload the dryer
  • Have the dryer installed by pros (DIY is tempting but you may be overlooking a fire hazard)
  • Be sure that the outside vent cover is open when the dryer is on (and if you have snow around your house, make sure this opening has clearance around it)
  • Dryer fires tend to occur more often in the fall and winter, when humidity levels are drier and there is more static charge, so be more vigilant during these times
  • Keep the area surrounding the dryer free of hazards or anything that might catch fire (cleaning solutions and other flammables are a no-no)

In addition to the above prevention items, there is one more step you should take.

Dryer Vent Cleaning Helps Prevent Fires

Lint also builds up in your dryer vents. You might notice that clothes are taking longer to dry, or that there is condensation, or even notice a burning smell. These are signs that the dryer vents are compromised and in need of cleaning. Heat builds up in the vents and the potential for flammability exists.

Experts in HVAC cleaning and inspection for several decades, Modern PURAIR® are well-equipped to provide a thorough dryer vent cleaning in your home. While the frequency of cleaning needed will vary on conditions and usage in your home, including the dryer and duct work, we recommend an annual cleaning to avoid the potential for fire risk.

Don’t put off your family’s safety. To set up a dryer vent cleaning in the near future, either on its own or in tandem with a duct cleaning, contact us today.

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