Skip to content Accessibility info

The Reis Group Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

The Hazard You May Have In Your Home

A clothes dryer has become a staple in the lives of most American adults. Unfortunately, lint buildup is one of the leading causes of house fires, amounting to millions of dollars in damages annually. Regular cleaning and maintenance can protect, not only your home, but your family.

Get Rid of Lint in the Dryer

No matter the type of dryer you own (electric or gas), lint builds up in the trap, as well as inside the dryer vent and ducts. Lint can cause humidity levels to rise around vents causing mildew and mold to develop in walls and insulation. But most importantly, lint is flammable. Lint causes house fires, more than 20,000 every year.

How to Clean Dryer Vents

At least once per year, unplug the dryer and check the area where the exhaust vent connects to the dryer. The hose or pipe is held in place by a clip or a steel clamp that can be loosened with tools. After removing the pipe, reach inside the dryer opening or use a vent brush to remove as much lint as possible. Use a damp cloth to wipe away remaining lint around the connection, then check the inside of the hose or pipe and clean it, as well as the exterior vent. You can also hire a professional like John Kerbert at Hudson Valley Duct Cleaning Co. to make sure that this work is done properly. You can reach them at (845) 246-8525 and tell them that your friends at The Reis Group sent you!

Install the Dryer Correctly

A dryer should not vent inside your home, even your attic. The exhaust contains too much humid air and can cause problems with mold and mildew. A ventless dryer should be used if outside venting is not possible.

More Tips for Dryer Safety

  1. Clothing that has been soiled by volatile chemicals like gasoline, cleaning agents or even large amounts of cooking oil should not be dried in a clothes dryer. If they must be dried in the machine, wash the clothing more than once to minimize the risk of fire. Use the lowest heat setting and shortest drying cycle possible, then use a cycle with a cool-down period at the end of the cycle to prevent ignition.
  2. Do not leave a dryer running when no one is at home.
  3. The area around the dryer should be kept free of papers, stacks of clothing, and other hazards.
  4. Keep a fire extinguisher in the laundry room.
  5. If you suspect a fire, get everyone outside and call 911. Disconnect the power immediately or turn off the breakers, if you can do so safely. 

As always, we are here to help you.
If you have questions about your homeowners coverage, contact us at (845) 338-4656.