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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Dryer Fire Culprits

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 15,000 home fires per year are caused by clothes dryers. And MOST of these could have been prevented, according to firefighters. The solution? The right products and maintenance.

Unfortunately, dryer fires happen every day. Here are two things you as a homeowner can do to help prevent dryer fires:

One: Clean the lint filter. After every use. Teach your children how to clean it. Everyone in the house should master this super-simple preventative measure.

Two: Have the ducts cleaned annually, because lint still gets past the filter even when clean. Professional duct-cleaners can spot additional dangers, and possibly save your life.

How do dryer fires happen?

Culprit #1: Lint.

Lint is the leading cause of dryer fires. It’s highly flammable, and it’s everywhere. Lint naturally accumulates in your dryer and dryer exhaust system. This buildup makes the dryer work harder for each load and the lint can work its way into the heating element, creating a possible fire hazard. Additionally extra long exhaust hosing and unnecessary elbows can hinder airflow and create restrictive areas for lint to build up.

Culprit #2: Crushed Hoses.

When you push your dryer back to the wall, you may end up accidentally crushing the exhaust hose. When the dryer can’t move the air, the resulting blowback of lint is dangerous. To protect the duct, consider using a dryer box or simply moving the dryer further from the wall. This can prevent bends, folds and dents. Allowing the hot air to move safely through the ducting and out of the house, where it belongs.

Culprit #3: Animals.

External venting creates pre-built “homes” for our animal friends, and they’re more than happy to move in. A cheap plastic or louvered external venting termination can be inviting for nest builders. When the duct is clogged with a nest, the lint can’t blow past, increasing the danger of fire. A good exterior closure like a powder coated, galvanized steel dryer wall vent will deter animals while providing a sleek look for your home.

Unfortunately even the most proactive measures may not be enough. Dryers and other household appliances can still unexpectedly fail, causing damage to your home and personal items. Smoke damage, soot and even the smell after a fire can be incredibly hard to take care of. In the event that you experience a fire situation, call SERVPRO. Your local SERVPRO franchise is highly trained and ready to help. As a 24 hour emergency fire and water clean-up and restoration company, SERVPRO can assess your loss, put a plan in action and help to restore your home and life back to normal. “Like it never even happened.”

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