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what causes dryer vent fires

Dryer vent fires cause over 15,000 home structure fires a year, resulting in death, injury and property damage. But what causes dryer vent fires? In this post, the experts at Induct Clean explain how they happen and how to prevent them.

When it comes to fire hazards in the home, your laundry probably isn’t one of the first things to come to mind. Dryer vent fires, however, are second only to stoves in causing house fires.

Causes of Dryer Vent Fires

The main cause for dryer vent fires is a buildup of lint in the dryer duct. A lint trap often does not stop all lint from entering ductwork. If left unchecked, this lint can build up over time and potentially catch fire in the heating element or inside of ductwork. Another concern is when a dryer is installed in an area like a basement, which necessitates longer runs of ductwork. This creates more opportunity for lint buildup over time.

Warning Signs

Have your dryer vent inspected and cleaned if you notice these signs:

  • Clothes take longer than usual to dry.
  • Clothes become extremely hot in the dryer.
  • Your laundry room becomes excessively hot when drying clothes.

How to Prevent Dryer Vent Fires

The following tips can help keep your home and family safe:

  • Clean out your lint trap after each load.
  • Have your dryer vent professionally cleaned once a year.
  • Install a solid metal dryer duct. Flexible foil or plastic ducts tend to sag, allowing lint to build up in the low points. Solid metal ducts do not sag and are likely more capable of containing fires that start inside of them.
  • Check the outdoor vent flap to ensure it’s not clogged or covered by debris or snow.
  • Do not let your dryer run when you aren’t at home.
  • Keep combustible items like cleaning products away from the dryer area.
  • If you notice smoke coming from your dryer, keep it shut, evacuate the home and call 911 immediately, as opening the dryer door can intensify any flames inside.

How Induct Clean Can Help

Induct Clean is a licensed and fully insured service company. We specialize in residential, commercial and industrial fields in the Tri-State area. Our services include air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, carpet cleaning, HVAC cleaning and upholstery cleaning. Contact us today for a quote or if you have questions about our services – our team of experts is ready to help!

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