Each year, around this time, I’m reminded of the time my parents home caught fire becase of a dirty dryer vent. It’s true, and had it not been for Aunt Betty, who just happened to be visiting, the entire house would have been lost.
The fire department arrived to extinguish the blaze, and thankfully no one was hurt. Still, the washer, dryer and everything within 30 sq ft. were completely engulfed in flame.
The event remains surreal, “these things only happen to other people”, yet this entire episode could have been avoided by replacing and/or diligent cleaning the dryer vent hose.*
The fix was simple; dad replaced it with rigid metal pipe. We learned later that no matter what material is used, it’s recommended that the duct be cleaned (at minimum) annually!!
We’ve shot this video to show you how simple it is to do yourself. Obviously, call me if you need to replace the flexible plastic duct with a safer rigid material; or should you want us to clean it for you.
Finally, don’t leave your home with the dryer running and never sleep with it on.
* Note: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 15,000 clothes dryer fires occur annually. These fires account for an average of 10 deaths, 310 injuries, and more than $84.4 million in property damage.
Telltale signs of a potential problem:
- Clothes are taking longer than normal to dry
- Portions of clothing are still damp after a typical cycle
- You can see lint accumulation around the dryer door gasket
- Lint buildup is also visible inside the machine when the lint screen is removed