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Have You Cleaned Your Dryer Vents?

Dryer Vent Cleaning May Prevent a Fire

The primary issue is fire safety when it comes to dryer vent maintenance and cleaning. Both residential and commercial dryers are routinely over-taxed to support extensive laundry and plugged vents (with highly flammable lint) in commercial and residential facilities. Often, it’s an “out-of-sight” item and we tend to overlook this simple but potentially dangerous aspect of our property.

Dryer vent fires cause a substantial number of damages, injuries, and deaths annually directly as a result of failure to clean the dryer vent.  According to the NFPA, there are approximately 15,000 structure fires, hundreds of injuries, and more than a dozen deaths reported each year due to dryer vent fires.  Amazingly, half of all commercial dryer vent fires start from within the lint trap.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states there are an average of 3,700 structure fires at hotel or motel properties annually, causing $127 million in damage. Of those fires, 10% are clothes dryer related. In industrial and manufacturing properties, as well as other commercial environments, the statistical percentages grow even higher.

The United States Fire Administration says that every year clothes dryer fires account for over $100 million in losses, and dryer fires involving commercial dryer vents have a 78% higher injury rate than residential dryer fires. Since hotels and other commercial laundry environments are so vulnerable, it really pays to have these vents checked and cleaned regularly!

A majority of commercial dryer vent fires occur as a result of highly flammable lint getting caught in the dryer duct and becoming heated to the point of ignition. Most commercial dryers come with lint traps, or filters, designed to capture the lint, yet only 70% is typically collected. The remainder sticks to the duct work and piping. Lint and other debris builds up over time so it is not ever safe to assume that emptying the filter regularly is enough to protect your property from a dryer vent fire. 

Did you know Commercial Dryer Vent Cleaning:

  • limits mold, mildew and other bacteria in your dryer vent ductwork.
  • allows laundered items dry more quickly and evenly.
  • enables the dryer to perform properly.
  • can save your company money on monthly energy costs.
  • creates peace of mind by eliminating a potential fire hazard.

Here are a few signs you need commercial dryer vent cleaning:

  • there is an accumulation of lint or debris on the external vent
  • it takes more than one drying cycle to dry one load
  • the dryer is hot to the touch indicating it is overheating
  • the laundered items smell “musty” after being in the dryer

Specifics to know:

When a dryer vent is clogged, airflow is reduced and dryers are forced to work harder. This means the air travelling through the ductwork and vents gets hotter and does not dry properly.  This causes:

  • Potential for lint to ignite as the heated air moves slower and temperature intensifies
  • Accelerated thermostat and internal sensor failure
  • Reduction in the lifespan of your appliance
  • Higher energy consumption

Cleaning your dryer vent regularly can save money, reduce fire hazards and in a commercial setting, prevent business interruption or worse. Call Reset Restoration today to clean the vents in your commercial dryers.  

Author:  Dick Wagner, restoration consultant, commercial marketing coach, dryer vents, fire safety, energy consumption

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