Here’s A Fire Hazard You’ve Probably Never Considered

Here's A Fire Hazard You've Probably Never ConsideredIs there a hidden fire hazard lurking inside your home? Every year, household dryer fires cause about $35 million in property damage in the U.S. What’s burning? Lint accumulation inside the dryer or dryer vent duct. An inevitable byproduct of drying clothes and other fabrics, this tiny fibrous material ignites easily and burns very hot in a flash-fire type of combustion.

Lint is typically captured by the dryer lint filter and/or blown out through the dryer air vent duct. However, failure to clean the lint filter, along with a clogged dryer vent duct — or one that isn’t safely constructed — can be the formula for a fire hazard that could spread to involve the entire house.

Here are some preventive measures to reduce the potential of a dryer fire fueled by lint:

  • Clean the dryer lint filter before every load of clothes. Excessive lint accumulation and abnormally high temperatures inside the dryer caused by a clogged filter can ignite lint and catch clothing and other contents on fire, too.
  • The dryer vent duct that extends to the outdoors, typically through an exterior wall, should be as straight as possible. Multiple bends and joints should be avoided as these create zones where lint typically accumulates.
  • The dryer vent duct should be metal or aluminum to contain fire, not plastic flex material that will melt if fire occurs and allow flames to spread into the house.
  • Annual inspection of the dryer vent duct should be done to check for lint accumulation. Professional duct cleaning services can remove unsafe lint accumulation utilizing pressure or vacuums without dismantling the duct. The dryer high temperature shut-off switch — another important fire prevention safeguard — should also be verified for proper operation.

Serving the Wabash Valley since 1922, Paitson Bros. has more information about home safety matters including dryer fire hazard from due to excess lint accumulation.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about fire hazards and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “HypnoArt/Pixabay”

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

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