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The National Fire Protection Association estimates that around 17,000 home dryer fires are reported annually. The leading cause? A failure to properly clean the dryer vents themselves. What can you do to avoid these issues, and how can you identify problems with your dryer vents before they become serious?

Danger signs

The first and most obvious sign that you need to check or clean your dryer vents is a common one: when your clothes are finished drying, they still feel damp or even wet to the touch. More often than not, when this happened to me, I simply ran the cycle again without even thinking! Here are more signs that your dryer vent is having problems:

  • Your clothes smell musty when they come out of the dryer
  • The room your washer and dryer are in seems overly hot
  • Clothes themselves are very hot when they are finished drying
  • The outside of the dryer vent opening has noticeable debris around it
  • The lint trap has a large amount of lint after every cycle
  • The dryer vent hood flap (the opening that vents to the outside of your home) does not open properly

Prevention

Most of the ways you can prevent a dryer fire are simple and easy to implement into your daily routine. For instance, remember to clean out the lint trap before every load of laundry, and give it a thorough cleaning with a brush every several months. You should also fully clean the lint out of the vent pipe every few months, as well as checking the venting system behind the dryer for damage or blockages.

If you are concerned there may be an issue, check your lint traps and the outside venting immediately to ensure things are working correctly. If there are further signs of a problem, do not hesitate to have a professional clean out your venting system or come to examine them for further issues. One simple check can prevent a dangerous fire and save you a load of headache!

The aftermath of any home fire is difficult and complicated, but dealing with the damage doesn’t have to be a source of stress. Here at the Flood Medix, we are experts at cleaning and repairing smoke, water and fire damage to turn your home into a safe, healthy space again. If you are experiencing damage or simply have more questions, give us a call! We’re always happy to hear from you.