General Article

Common Home Fire Hazards – Cigarettes and Dryer Vents

Posted

Now you’re probably wondering, how can a dryer vent become a common home fire hazard? Most people can see how cigarettes could start a fire, especially if someone fell asleep who was smoking in bed, but dryer vents, come on.

Let’s start with cigarettes, a long time ago, cigarettes were more of the hazard than they are today. Today most cigarettes are made to go out quickly if they aren’t being smoked. This has decreased deaths and fire damage from smoking in your home, drastically.

However, cigarettes should always be put out in an ashtray and never thrown away in 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 going away, as the years go by. It’s not a bad idea to put your finished cigarette out in a bottle filled with water. That’s good advice, think about it if you’re a smoker.

Now, what you’ve all been waiting for, how can a dryer vent, become a common home fire hazard. Well, it’s story time. Here’s something that actually happened at my home while I was at work.

We were taking care of a foster child who was nine years old and he saved our house. The rest of the family was playing a game in the back bedroom, while the washer and dryer were running. I had recently done some modifications or, you might call it remodeling to my garage and never got around to fixing the dryer vent, properly. In other words it wasn’t venting to the outside of the house like it should have been

The problem with this, was that the dryer vent was starting to accumulate lent behind the dryer. You might find this hard to believe, but this dryer lint caught on fire, while the hot air was coming directly out of the back of the dryer and could have burnt the whole house down, except for the young boy who smelled the smoke and notified someone who put the fire out.

I’ve since learned my lessons and that’s why I’m sharing my story with you, so that it doesn’t happen to anyone who reads this article. There is a reason for your pipes and duct work in your home, so make sure that they are hooked up properly and cleaned regularly.