What causes dryer fires? During the drying process, lint tends to build up over time. As lint accumulates in a dryer vent, it can cause blockages while also producing conditions that can cause a dryer to overheat. And since lint is a fairly flammable material, when combined with a dryer spark, it can all too easily start a fire.
If the idea of facing a dryer fire sounds scary to you, then you’re certainly not alone. Fortunately, you can take steps to avoid a dryer fire. Nick Sidon is the owner of Nick’s Dryer Vent Cleaning, a company that has been serving the San Diego, California area since 2007, and according to him, homeowners ought to adhere to the following guidelines with respect to drying practices and maintenance in order to avoid fires:
Have your dryer vent professionally cleaned
One of the best ways to prevent a dryer fire is to have your dryer vent examined and cleaned on a regular basis. For most people, this means bringing in a professional vent cleaner every three years. However, if you tend to use your dryer frequently, then it’s a good idea to have your vent professionally cleaned every one to two years.
Clean out your lint trap
Another good way to avoid a dryer vent fire is to make a habit of cleaning out your lint trap after every drying session. Not only will this help you on the clothes drying front, it will also reduce the risk of having that excess lint cause a fire.
Keep tabs on your lint
One of the biggest signs that your dryer vent needs a cleaning is the presence of more lint than usual in and around your dryer. To avoid a potentially hazardous situation, check your dryer area for lint on a regular basis. While cleaning out your lint trap is a good start, lint can accumulate in the back of your dryer or even on the floor around it. Once you become aware that your lint load seems greater than usual, it’s time to call in a professional to clean your vent.
If your clothing seems to be taking longer than usual to dry, then there’s a good chance that a clogged dryer vent is to blame. And if your dryer vent is clogged, then your risk for a fire increases tremendously. To avoid such a treacherous situation, try to pay attention to how long it generally takes your clothing to dry. This way, you’ll be more likely to notice if your dryer suddenly seems to be taking longer than usual to get its job done – which, in turn, should prompt you to get a professional vent cleaning right away.
Practice safe drying habits
A dryer vent fire can cause true devastation on so many levels. So to protect yourself accordingly, practice safe drying habits. Specifically, never leave your dryer running while you’re sleeping, and never leave the house while your dryer is still going. Granted, these habits won’t necessarily stop a dryer fire from sparking. But if a fire does happen to start while you’re alert and awake, then you’ll have a much better chance of calling for help in time to minimize the destruction involved.
The idea of being faced with a dryer vent fire is no doubt scary. So to avoid such a hazardous situation, make certain to follow these guidelines when using and maintaining your dryer. By being vigilant and having your dryer vent cleaned accordingly, you can do your part to keep yourself and the rest of your household safe from the dangers of a dirty dryer vent.
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We specialize in cleaning your dryer vent and air ducts. We will also help you improve you home's air quality.