After more than 16 years dealing with claims day in and day out, you would think the owner of a cleaning and restoration company would know better. You would think after all of the training and research that I have done to be a source of education for our service partners and clients that I would take my own advice. I am writing this today completely humbled for not taking my own advice until it was too late. Yes, I did not clean out my dryer vent and I had a fire in my dryer!
I clean my lint trap with every load of laundry that I do. And I do a lot of laundry. With an active family of five, we are no less than two loads of laundry a day. Needless to say, our weekends are full of catch up from the week. As our family grew so did our washer and dryer. It was less than three years ago when we replaced our washer and dryer to a larger heavy duty high efficiency set. I love my washer and dryer but my lack of care is what caused our fire. I knew there was something wrong when my towels did not dry. But I dismissed my gut feeling and started the dryer again, now on ‘sanitize’ mode. I walked away, in fact, I left the house completely. When I entered the house 40 minutes later there was a problem. I could smell the smoke and when I opened up the dryer door the smoke bellowed out and my eyes instantly watered from the strong odor. But where was the fire. I couldn’t see fire, just smoke. In a panic, I called for my husband who unplugged the dryer and pulled it out from the wall. Still no signs of actual fire. But that smell…
I knew exactly where it was; I knew it was the lint that I had failed to clean out. The lint trapped in the back of the dryer. I knew what to do next – call in the experts (wait, wasn’t I the expert?!?). My duct cleaning team arrived the next morning to further investigate and clean up my mess. My gut was right – it was the lint. I was lucky though, because I caught our fire in enough time where it did not spread to the vent itself. I was lucky in that the lint that was on the heating element of our dryer put itself out and only smoldered causing the horrific smell that made my eyes water. So…a thorough cleaning later (inside, outside and the entire vent line), my dryer was back in working order. I said I was lucky, but that is not always the case.
More than 15,000 fires are caused annually by clothes dryers. That is over 34% of home fires, and according to the U.S. Fire Administration, it is a failure to clean the dryer and dryer vent that causes these incidents. Take it from me, do not wait, thinking that cleaning the lint trap with every load is enough. It isn’t! Clean your dryer vent before it is too late. Call us today to schedule your dryer vent cleaning. Just ask for the ‘Beth Special’ and we will clean your dryer and dryer vent for $165. Trust me – it is worth it!