How to Prevent Dryer Vent Fires?

Dryer Vent Fires

As per the National Fire Protection Association, every year on an average, dryer vent fire hazard causes property damage worth $35 million. Every year, almost 100 injuries, 5 deaths, and 2900 home fires are caused just because of dryer vent fires. Thus, dryer vent cleaning must be on the top list for anyone to keep the house safe and secure. Let me share the top 4 standards for dryer installation, set by the International Residential Code:

How to install a dryer?

  • The first and foremost thing is to check if your dryer vent is installed as per the code requirement or not. A number of dryer vent requirements are specified by the International Residential Code.
  • Use 0.4mm rigid duct with a diameter of 4 inches, according to the IRC specification.
  • Corrugated pipes easily accumulate lint so avoid using them or use short lengths.
  • From the back of the dryer to the vent outlet, you should have 35 feet long vent. This must be an outdoor one. If your dryer supplier specifies a longer vent, then you may use it.

These are the top 4 code requirements to make sure the dryer is installed as per the required standards. As mentioned earlier, dryer vent cleaning is equally important. You can hire professionals to do this job, which will be definitely useful. However, if you want to clean the dryer vent on your own, here is the stepwise guide:

Stepwise Guide To Clean Dryer Vent

  • To move your dryer from the wall, first, unplug it and then disconnect the vent.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to clean lint from the dryer outlet and vent opening.
  • Take a screwdriver and take off the vent cover from the vent outlet.  Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the lint from the vent opening and cover.
  • Take a vent brush and use the handle extension to reach far areas in the vent. Push the brush in the opening of the outdoor vent to push away the lint in the front. This pushed lint may fall in the other end of the dryer which might be the laundry room. You can vacuum up this lint later.
  • Use a vacuum hose to insert into the duct to suck up the remaining lint inside which didn’t fall out.

This cleaning process will improve the airflow in the dryer. If you don’t see this improvement, you better take professional help for dryer vent cleaning.

Now, let’s take a look at precautions to avoid accumulating lint:

Each dryer comes with a lint filter and this filter needs to be cleaned on a regular interval. You can find this filter either inside the door or on top of the cabinet.

  • Decrease the drying time of the dryer to reduce the accumulation of lint.
  • Before putting clothes into the dryer, pick up hair and loose lint with a dryer or a lint brush.
  • Clean the lint filter in the machine with soapy water at a regular interval.

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