The other day while doing laundry, I realized that my clothes had an unnecessary amount of lint collected on them. After investigation, I found that my lint trap was completely full and it hadn’t been cleaned in over a month!
Now, I do about 3 loads of laundry a week in our two-person home, and am sure those of you who have families do way more than that. Due to my lint trap conundrum, I figured we could all use a little lesson on proper lint trap and dryer vent maintenance.
Quick Facts: Lint Traps & Fires
According to the U.S Fire Administration, roughly 3,000 fires a year are reportedly caused by dryer machines. Of these fires, 34% of them were due to people like you and me, forgetting to clean out their dryer lint traps. These fires not only put you in harm’s way, but cause upwards of $35 million dollars in property damages and losses.
Dryer… Check. Lint Trap….What’s that again?
When we dry our clothes, small fibers that make up the clothing break apart. These fibers, along with dirt and other debris are what creates lint. As the hot air of the dryer moves around, lint collects in the dryer filter, commonly know as the lint trap. The lint trap is used to keep lint from getting trapped in the dryer vent (another potential fire hazard). If lint accumulates in either the lint trap or the dryer vent, potential fire hazards occur due to lint’s combustible properties and restricted airflow within the vent.
Does my lint trap need a cleaning?
We have all made the mistake before of cleaning our dryer lint traps every few loads… OR as I have admitted, once a month… Big mistake! It is recommended by the U.S Fire Administration to clean your lint trap before and after every cycle. This is especially important when washing loads that contain towels and other high fiber materials.
In addition to cleaning the lint trap, you must periodically clean your dryer vent. Lint collected within the dryer vent doesn’t only impair your dryer’s performance, but can also be a potential fire hazard.
6 Signs it’s time to clean your dryer vent:
- Clothes are not fully dried after one cycle
- Drying time exceeds 45 minutes
- Clothes have a musty smell after drying
- Lint and Dust has collected outside the vent door
- The dryer machine is extremely hot to touch
- Excessive amounts of lint collect within the lint trap
Technology Can Help Keep You Safe
Now let’s be honest, after reading our dryer’s safety manuals (I believe mine is stuffed in a drawer in the kitchen) and after reading this article on lint trap maintenance; we are still going to neglect our dryer lint traps! Because everybody does it and will continue to do it, technological advancements continue to help protect our homes from disaster!
Improvement in technologies over the last few decades has drastically decreased the number of fires caused by lint trap neglect. In 1998, the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that there were roughly 15,000 fires caused by dryer lint traps a year. The U.S Fire Administration attributes such decrease to the increased use of smoke detectors and home security monitoring.
Smoke detectors have become a common decoration in the average home. Standard smoke detectors alert occupants in the case of a fire. Unfortunately, this is all they do… Notifying me of a fire, is wonderful… Thankfully, I am alive. My house on the other hand is burning to the ground because I forgot to call the fire department or because I wasn’t home when the fire occured.
In the case of a fire, I think it is safe to say we all would want the fire department alerted as soon as possible to limit injury and property damage. That is why companies such as FrontPoint, Guardian, and Vivint offer various home security monitoring packages. In the case of a fire, these companies would alert the fire department on your behalf ensuring help is promptly on the way.
Benefits of a monitored home security smoke detector:
- Alerts Authorities in the Event of a Fire
- Decreases Property Damage caused by Fire
- Increases Safety and Security
- Gives Peace of Mind
If you’re interested in adding a professionally monitored smoke detector in your home we recommend giving Frontpoint Security a call. You can find more information on them below.
Call to receive a FREE consultation and qualify for a FREE Smoke/ Heat detector when you purchase a new system.