In 2010, an estimated 16,800 reported U.S. non-confined or confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines resulted in 51 civilian deaths and $236 million in direct property damage. Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 4%. Warning signs that dangerous lint build up is in your dryer and venting system include:

  • Clothes take longer and longer to dry
  • Clothes don’t fully dry
  • Clothes are hotter than normal at the end of the drying cycle
  • The outside of dryer gets very hot
  • The outside exhaust vent flapper does not open very much
  • Laundry room becomes more humid than it is usually
  • Burnt smell is evident in the laundry room

The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires is due to failure to clean. Follow these simple safety guidelines to help prevent fires in your home:

  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter
  • Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry
  • Remove lint that has collected around the drum
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow
  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and outdoor vent can open
  • Keep dryers in good working order
  • Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to ensure the gas line is intact
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and is connected properly
  • Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed

Call the professionals at Cunningham to have your dryer vents professionally inspected and to help be sure your system is operating properly. See Commercial Dryer Vent Cleaning or Residential Dryer Vent Cleaning.