Not cleaning dryer vent could be a fire hazard

Not cleaning dryer vent could be a fire hazard
According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 15,000 house fires are started every year by a dryer. (Source: Henrico fire)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Every year, thousands of house fires are started by a clothes dryer.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 15,000 house fires are started every year by a dryer, but it can be easily avoided.

“If you don’t clean the vents out naturally we’re not getting air circulation," said Cohen’s sale manger Michael Cohen.

That lack of air circulation can create a dangerous scenario.

“If you don’t clean it out, then it just gets more and more clogged. It traps heat inside and it doesn’t release the heat as well out through the duct work which becomes hotter inside the dryer which could eventually char and ignite the items inside,” said Montgomery Fire Department Lt. Jason Cupps.

Officials recommend you clean the lint trap in your dryer after every use, and that you clean out the entire duct system at least once a year.

“You have two dryer vents. One dryer vent would naturally be in your dryer and you should do that after every load that you dry, but then you also have a vent that goes in the wall a lot of the houses," said Cohen.

If your dryer doesn’t dry like it used to, or if there’s a burning smell near the dryer, it’s time to call a professional.

“In the wall, if you have lint that gets stuck in the vent you know that is where you can have a fire hazard because you’ve got all this heat and then you have all this dry lent and it’s just waiting to catch on fire," said Cohen.

There are some do it yourself cleaning kits that you can buy at the store, but Cohen said it’s best to leave it up to the pros.

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