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  • Writer's pictureNancy Adkins

Is Your Dryer a Fire Hazard Waiting to Happen?

How To Put Out A House Fire Before It Starts.

Our laundry appliances often are over used and need a little care. Most homes who have a few kids, dogs, maybe a cat or two can expect to have at least two loads of laundry a day and more on weekends. The problem is over time lint does not just add it multiplies and with over use that dryer is not just full of lint but it has hot electronic equipment sitting under and in between the lint that came off your clothes and material.

Lint poses a major fire hazard that too many homeowners overlook. Ask any Boy Scout what's the best tinder for starting a campfire, and they'll say lint. That's because lint is incredibly flammable.

Lint accumulates from tiny fibers and particles shed off your clothes during washing and drying cycles. The more loads of laundry you do, the more lint builds up inside your dryer - especially in hidden areas you can't see. While cleaning the lint screen after each load helps, it's just the tip of the iceberg. At a minimum, every dryer needs to be fully opened and cleaned out once a year. For households that do more than 250 loads annually, biannual cleanings are a must.

That hidden lint buildup contains oils, chemicals, and other residues from your laundry that make it ignite easily. A small spark from the dryer motor or heating element is all it takes to set off a lint fire that quickly rages out of control. The flames then travel up the dryer vent to engulf your home.

Preventing lint fires requires vigilance to keep your dryer lint-free. Don't ignore hard-to-reach areas inside the dryer housing. In addition to cleaning the lint screen, periodically remove the back panel to vacuum out lint around the motor and duct connection. Regular professional dryer vent cleanings also protect your home and family by removing fire hazards. Stop lint before it starts a fire.

Dryer fires are a very real threat that can have devastating consequences. I learned this firsthand years ago when a family we knew suffered a dryer fire that destroyed their home. The fire started inside the dryer and quickly traveled up the wall, spreading to other rooms. The children had to jump out of windows to escape the burning house. I still think of that family often - how they lost everything and the trauma it caused the kids.

Stories like this motivate me to help prevent dryer fires so other families don't have to experience such loss.

Texas has one of the highest rates of dryer fires, putting many families at risk each year. With larger, taller homes becoming more common, dryer vents are getting longer, which significantly increases the fire danger. Every additional foot of vent heightens the chance of a blaze that could not only destroy a home but also inflict lasting emotional damage on children. My goal is to reduce dryer fires to protect Texas families and kids.

The cooler fall and winter weather creates the perfect conditions for dryer fires. As we close up our homes against the cold and turn up the heat, it forms a vacuum that can turn a small dryer fire into an inferno. With decades of appliance industry experience and raising eight kids myself, I've seen how easily this can happen. Now as a grandparent, I'm even more concerned to prevent it.

The key is keeping lint buildup minimal inside dryers. Fifteen years ago I began developing a new appliance wellness concept to address this issue and protect our families.

What is appliance wellness? Its no different that what you do right now on your car. You know for a fact that if you do not change the oil on your car, your engine will go out. Same thing goes for your dryer, you have motor that will go out if it is not maintained regularly. Over the time we knew this is not just a concept put provable. Our clients who have their appliance wellness done on average will not have an additional repair needed for the next 12 months. That includes both the dryer and the dryer vent cleaning. Which automatically protects our clients homes from catching on fire due to a dryer fire. We can almost eliminate the risk for a dryer fire.

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