Who would have thought that regular dryer vent cleaning can actually save your life? One of the most overlooked fire hazards in your home is sitting right in your laundry room in the form of your clothes dryer. You’ll be surprised to find out the main reason why is neglecting to clean it. We’re not even making this up because we’ve got the stats to prove it!
Why is my Clothes Dryer a Fire Hazard?
Clothes dryers together with washing machines provide convenience and are essential in the average American home. Dryers are generally safe just as long as you follow up with proper cleaning and maintenance. Years of using your dryer on a regular basis lead to lint build-up as a byproduct of drying. When you leave an excessive amount of lint to accumulate in your dryer vent, you are actually putting you and your family at risk without even knowing it. Excessive lint buildup causes the dryer to overheat and because lint is highly flammable, it will burst into flames once it reaches burning temperature.
Statistics: Casualties of Clothes Dryer Fires
In the most recent report from the National Fire Protection Association, a majority of the estimated 15,790 home fires that occurred in the US from 2010-2014 involved clothes dryers and washing machines.
Out of all those fires, a whopping 92% involved clothes dryers and the leading contributor is the failure to clean, accounting for one-third or 33% of the dryer fires.
All the built-up dust, fiber or lint that’s been accumulating in your dryer vent throughout the years are actually the first items that burst into flames in one-third of these cases accounting for 27%.
These dryer fires are to blame for 9 civilian deaths, 420 civilian injuries and $222 million in direct property damage.
How Do I Avoid Dryer Fires?
Avoid dryer fires by having your dryer vent cleaned every 2-3 years and by following recommended safety guidelines. If you want to learn more, the NFPA provides a number of safety measures to ensure that your home stays hazard free and we’ve made a comprehensive checklist for you. The most important thing to note from NFPA’s safety guidelines, however, is to ensure that services like installation, maintenance, repair, and replacement are done by dryer vent professionals with the right equipment and expertise to do the job. You don’t even have to risk your life or your properties while you’re at it. It may be tempting to do these things on your own but without proper knowledge and suitable tools, you might just be putting your life in danger.