Originally posted on BPIhomeowner.org.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 17,000 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year. These clothes dryer fires cause around 51 deaths, 380 injuries, and $236 million in property loss. Unsurprisingly, the leading cause of these fires, at 34%, is the failure to clean dryer vents.
Kim Grugle, Finance Assistant here at BPI, recently hired a technician to clean her house’s ducts. Part of the technician’s cleaning process included checking on her dryer venting. The technician asked her if she had experienced any problems with drying her clothes. She had! Kim's clothes would still be damp after a drying cycle, so she'd turn it back on for another cycle. She blamed it on the sensor in her dryer.
Lo and behold, the issue was actually lint build-up in her dryer vents. The technician told her he had seen much worse than hers (see the picture of what he vacuumed out of Kim’s ducts and venting to the right); some homes had such plugged-up dryer venting that the lint was wet.
Like Kim’s situation, your first hint that you need to check your vents is when your clothing doesn’t dry after a normal drying cycle. If you encounter any other issues, contact a professional right away, such as a BPI GoldStar Contractor or BPI Certified Professional, to inspect your venting.
Look out for the following signs of a clogged dryer vent:
You can do your part as a homeowner to prevent a dryer fire taking place in your home through proper installation, cleaning, and maintenance. Even if your dryer seems to be running fine right now, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Take these steps to prevent a dryer fire: