A recent report of a home fire was caused by a bolt of lightening striking the dryer vent cover and traveling through the wall. This is an unlikely and rare occurrence. Your dryer is one of the most likely appliances to cause a fire with the most common cause being failure to clean the dryer vent system. Dryer lint-up is more likely to cause a fire than lightening.
Dryer Vent Cleaning
Your clothes dryer evaporates the water from wet laundry as it blows hot air through it while it tumbles in the drum. Heat is provided by a gas burner or an electric heating element. Up to a gallon of water is removed from your laundry as the moisture leaves your home through the dryer exhaust ducts.
As your laundry dries and the heat and moisture are removed from your home through the dryer vent system, lint is also being produced. Only about 60% of the lint is trapped in the removable lint screen; the rest escapes into the dryer and dryer vent. Most of the wet sticky lint remains in the dryer duct; it does not escape through the vent outdoors as most people think it does. Eventually, the lint builds up and must be removed before it becomes a threat. Lint is flammable; as it dries and hardens on the inside of your dryer exhaust ducts it reduces air-flow and causes overheating. This is a fire hazard and it is the cause of most clothes dryer fires.
Dryer Vent Safety
In addition to dryer vent cleaning, proper installation is critical. The dryer duct should be properly connected to the back of the clothes dryer to prevent dryer exhaust from leaking into your home.
Dryer exhaust ducts should be made of rigid or semi-rigid metal, not flexible foil or plastic which is easily kinked or crushed, restricting air-flow. Dryers are often tucked into small areas and the dryer venting material gets crushed when people push the dryer closer to the wall.
Clothes dryer fires are more common than you think; most of them are caused by failure to properly maintain the dryer vent system. Dryer lint is highly combustible and it provides ample fuel for a rapidly spreading fire. Annual professional dryer vent cleaning is recommended to maintain the dryer vent system.
Dryer Vent Wizard provides dryer vent cleaning, dryer vent repair, dryer vent installation and all dryer exhaust services to make clothes dryers operate safely and efficiently. Dryer Vent Wizard has made a commitment to make 1 million clothes dryers safer and greener by the year 2010. Visit http://www.dryerventwizard.com to learn more.