If you had to guess how many fires were directly related to dryer vents each year, what would be your guess? Would it be 1,000? Maybe 5,000? How about 10,000? Well, all of these are wrong. There are over 15,000 fires every year due to dryer vents! Tragically, there are also about ten deaths reported every year due to these fires.
Lint is a highly flammable substance. If the lint is allowed to accumulate in the vent system, a simple spark is enough to ignite it. In a matter of minutes, a simply household chore can result in tragedy. So, why are we seeing more and more fires every year from dryer vents?
Current home design has a part to play. Most older homes typically had the dryer located in the basement. Most dryers were located directly up against the wall with a small vent leading outside. There was very little, if any room for a lint buildup to occur. Today, laundry rooms are located on different floors and in odd locations. The result is venting that needs to run longer, meaning more of an opportunity for buildup.
Homeowners can address this issue somewhat on their own, but they should still have a professional cleaning done several times throughout the year. In order for you to get the vents as clean as a professional vent cleaning company, you would have to use an industrial strength vacuum cleaner, which you are unlikely to have.
In addition to safety concerns, there is also the fact that the dryer will not run as effectively as it would with clean vents. If you find that you have to run the dryer two or three times in order for your clothing to be properly dried, you may have a buildup in your dryer vents. Of course, this means a much larger utility bill each month as well, something we all want to avoid.