With temperatures throughout Washington set to reach record highs, fire hazard safety is of extreme importance for residents throughout The Puget Sound Area. And while many of us actively take measures to prevent fire hazards, some lesser-known measures may slip through the cracks. One important hazard, in fact, can take place simply from failing to maintain our dryers and clearing out the dryer ducts.

Each time we run a load of laundry through our washers and dryers, lint can build up. For most of us, this means that it’s time to clean the screen, making the clothes drying process more thorough. For those of us who may be a little savvier regarding dryer duct cleaning, this process takes on a whole new level of importance.


Why It’s Important

In addition to causing your dryer to be less efficient, creating a longer running time before clothes are dried, there’s a potentially dangerous situation that could stem from a dirty dryer duct. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there are tens of thousands of dryer-related fires each and every year, many of which lead to injuries or even death. Many of these could have been prevented by cleaning out the dryer duct, which accumulates lint and can result in a fire being started. It’s recommended that the dryer vent duct is cleaned out every six months or so to prevent the risk of a fire being started.

Symptoms Of A Dirty Dryer Vent

With these dangers in mind, it’s important to know what to look for when you’re concerned that your dryer vent may be clogged. Here are some things to look for to make sure your dryer is clear and fire hazard free:

  • Are your clothes taking longer and longer to dry?
  • Clothes aren’t fully dry.
  • Clothes are hotter than normal when they reach the end of the drying cycle.
  • The outside of the dryer becomes hot when you dry your clothes.
  • The exhaust vent flapper outside your home doesn’t open very much, indicating a clogged vent.
  • A burnt smell emanating from the dryer.
  • The laundry room becomes humid every time you use the dryer.


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