Common Home Fire Hazards: Cigarettes and Dryer Vents
Now you’re probably wondering, how can dryer venting become a common home fire hazard? Most people can see how cigarettes can start a fire, especially if someone fell asleep and was smoking in bed, but dryer vents, come on.
Let’s start with cigarettes, long ago, cigarettes were more dangerous than today. Today, most cigarettes are made to go out quickly if not smoked. This has dramatically reduced deaths and fire damage from smoking in your home.
However, cigarettes should always be put out in an ashtray and never thrown into a regular trash can, filled with paper and other flammable waste products. This is still a problem today and with a little common sense and a lot of education, this problem seems to be disappearing over the years. It is not a bad idea to put out your finished cigarette in a bottle full of water. That is good advice, think about it if you are a smoker.
Now what you’ve all been waiting for, how can dryer venting become a common home fire hazard? Well, it’s story time. Here’s something that actually happened at my house while I was at work.
We were looking after a foster boy who was nine years old and he saved our home. The rest of the family played in the back bedroom, while the washer and dryer worked. I had recently done some modifications or, you could call it my garage remodel and I was never able to fix the dryer vent, properly. In other words, it was not being vented outside the house as it should have been.
The problem with this was that the dryer vent was slowly starting to build up behind the dryer. It might be hard to believe, but the lint from the dryer caught fire, while the hot air was coming straight from the back of the dryer and could have burned the whole house except for the kid who smelled the smoke and notified someone that put out the fire.
Since then I have learned my lessons and that is why I am sharing my story with you, so that it does not happen to anyone who reads this article. There’s a reason your home’s pipes and ducts work, so make sure they’re hooked up properly and cleaned regularly.