According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 15,000 fires are sparked every year by clothes dryers. Lint and other debris can build up in your dryer vent, reducing air flow to the dryer, backing up dryer exhaust gases, creating a fire hazard.
“Clothes dryers are an appliance that make our lives easier but we often take them for granted. We shouldn’t,” said Angie’s List founder, Angie Hicks. “We need to maintain them and most importantly have their vents cleaned.”
Glen Mayfield, a dryer vent technician, said the first sign that you might have a clog is when your dryer stops drying your clothes in one cycle. “The dryer is designed to exhaust the heat and the moisture while it’s drying. If that heat and moisture cannot get out of the dryer, then the dryer just sits there and keeps working itself but it can’t accomplish the drying. that means the dryer works harder and heat builds up and that is what can lead to a dryer vent fire.” Mayfield said it’s a bigger problem in new homes, where the dryer is placed in the center of the home rather than up against an outside wall. “As a result, the vent can run quite a long distance. We see 15, 20, 25 foot vents all the time. The longer the vent, the harder it is for the dryer to get the lint out. Those homes with longer vents are more susceptible to fire.”
It is recommended by the United States Fire Administration that homeowners have their residential dryer vents cleaned at least once a year so that excessive debris does not build up within the ventilation pipes causing risks such as residential structural fires, gas leaks into the home and large energy usage for operating the dryer. For homes that utilize the dryer more than two times within a week regularly throughout the year the cleaning services sought should be increased accordingly.
Robert De Niro Home Catches on Fire due to Dryer Vent Blockage
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The New York Post reports that at around 2 p.m., lint inside the actor’s clothes dryer sparked an intense fire that spread across the fifth floor of the Central Park West residence he shares with his wife and two children. It took firefighters almost an hour to subdue the flames.
“Right above my head these 12-foot tall flames exploded out of the fifth floor window,” said an eyewitness who was moving his car outside De Niro’s building.
“The dryer in 5W caused the fire that spread through the entire fifth floor,” said Battalion Chief Mike Meyers.
Always have a Professional Clean your Dryer Vent.