Protecting Your Home From Fire: Can a Dryer Start a Fire in Your House?

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How Our Dryer Nearly Started a Fire in Our Home

A close call happened in my family’s laundry room recently. I want to share my experience so this doesn’t happen to you. One evening, my wife and I were about to leave for dinner. Before we left, she entered our laundry room and walked into a blanket of extremely hot air. She immediately called out for help as her eyeglasses fogged up to the point where she could not see.

I entered the room, turned off the dryer and opened up the doors for ventilation. Upon further inspection, I discovered that our dryer vent hose was clogged with lint, causing a hole to burst in the ventilation hose. This allowed a lot of hot air to accumulate in our small laundry room. If this issue had gone unnoticed, it could have quickly started a fire.

So, we pulled the dryer away from the wall and cleaned the ventilation hose. Then, we ran all new hose to make sure we didn’t have any remaining lint build up. Finally, we sat down to outline a plan so this would not happen again. Here is what we decided:

  1. We added a note on the dryer to remind everyone to clean the lint catcher regularly.
  2. We added a reminder to our family calendar to clean the vent pipe once a year (It’s important to note that you may need your vent cleaned more often depending on how frequently you dry clothes).
  3. We installed a fire extinguisher close to the laundry room as a precaution.
  4. We added both heat and smoke detectors to our laundry room.

Since the incident, I’ve done quite a bit of research on dryer safety. Here are a couple of videos that I want to share so you can avoid this same dangerous scenario.

This first video outlines how to clean your dryer vent:

This second video demonstrates the seriousness of dryer fires, how common they are, and how it only takes a few minutes for dryer lint to catch fire:

As a member of the ADS Security team, I highly encourage all homeowners to have a working monitored smoke alarm in your laundry room, hallways, and in each bedroom of your home. If we had been asleep or had gone out to dinner as we planned, our home could have caught fire quickly. Take it from me–I saw firsthand what tragedy could have happened!

Categories: Fire

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