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One of the most mundane of household tasks – laundry – puts you at risk of fire.
Clogged dryer vents and improper vent installation make dryers among the leading causes of house fires. In just five years, British Columbia recorded 288 reported dryer-related fires that caused more than $30 million, says Kelly Comeau, from the locally owned and operated Island Dryer Vent Wizard.
While candles, kitchen fires and smoke alarms tend to be top of mind when it comes to fire safety, few people think about their clothes dryer.
What questions should you ask yourself to see if you’re at risk?
Question 1: Does your dryer take longer than a regular cycle to dry?
Question 2: Does it shut off mid-cycle, or do you notice a burning smell?
Question 3: Is lint built up at the back of your dryer?
Question 4: Does your dryer vent travel a long way before exhausting outside?
A “yes” to any of these questions means your home and family could be at risk from fire.
Vents that are damaged, clogged or constructed of improper materials make your dryer work harder, causing fires or breakdowns, Comeau explains.
Following a diagnostic inspection of the vent line, lint trap joint connections, termination points and hoses, professional cleaning removes clogs to ensure proper ventilation and air flow.
Improve safety and save money
Safety isn’t the only benefit to keeping your dryer vent spic and span.
“Beyond protecting your home and family, cleaning the vent can also save you up to $24 a month on your energy bill,” Comeau notes, pointing out dryer and vent maintenance can pay for itself when you consider the cost of a dryer fire or replacing your machine well before its time.
“A clean dryer with a properly installed and maintained vent system will reduce the risk of fire, and save you time and money, all while giving you peace of mind,” Comeau said.
Island Dryer Vent Wizard cleans, installs, repairs and alters dryer vents, and can de-lint the inside of most dryer models. The community-minded business also supports local organizations like the Qualicum Fire Department and at a North American level, the Children’s Burn Foundation.