Is Your Dryer Vent a Fire Hazard?

February 28th, 2020
dryer vent hazard

Did you know that about 2,900 fires are caused every year by clothes dryers?  These fires are responsible for an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property damage annually.  The usual culprit?  A buildup of lint either in the lint trap, the back of the dryer, or the vent tube that leads outside.  At JMS Enterprises, we want you to have a happy, healthy, and a safe home, so here is some more information about clothes dryer fires and how you can prevent them.

Preventing Clothes Dryer Fires

How long has it been since you cleaned out your lint trap?  What about the back of the dryer and the vent tube?  These tasks can certainly be tedious but if you neglect them for too long, you could be putting yourself, your family, and your home at risk.  Failure to clean out lint is directly responsible for 34% of clothes dryer fires, making it the leading cause of these preventable disasters.

Your lint trap should be cleaned after every dryer cycle.  Never operate your dryer without the lint screen in place.  You should also be aware that most dryer fires occur in fall and winter, most likely because the cool, dry air creates the perfect conditions for dryer lint to ignite.  The back of the dryer and the vent tube can be cleaned less frequently, about every three months.  Try performing this task every time the season changes and you should be in good shape!  Of course, if you don’t feel like digging around behind your dryer, professional techs like the ones at JMS Enterprises will be happy to do the job for you!

Here are a few more dryer fire prevention tips:

  • Regularly inspect the dryer’s venting system and clean it whenever necessary. Also check to make sure it’s not damaged or blocked in any way.
  • Replace coiled wire or ribbed vent tubes with smooth metal ducts to prevent lint from building up there.
  • Have a professional inspect gas dryers annually to check for gas leaks and other issues.
  • Put a screen over any exterior vents to ensure flammable debris and animal nests don’t get inside.
  • Remove any flammable materials from the area around the dryer.
  • Do not overload the dryer with clothes.
  • Do not dry items that have come into contact with flammable materials like alcohol, gasoline, or oil; allow them to air-dry instead.
  • Don’t leave your dryer running if you plan to leave the house or go to sleep.

As we mentioned earlier, keeping your lint trap and venting system clean will go a long way towards preventing dryer fires.  Not only will removing lint keep you safe from dryer fires, it will also help your dryer run more efficiently and dry clothes faster.  If you don’t feel like digging around in your lint trap, call in the professionals at JMS Enterprises to do it for you!  Call 215-706-0188 to ask about our dryer vent cleaning services and air duct cleaning services as well as professional carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, water damage restoration, and more!