Preventing Fires that Start In Your Clothes Dryer

Preventing Fires that Start In Your Clothes Dryer

The idea of losing everything you own to a dryer fire is scary. But this happens to thousands of people every year, many of whom live right here in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex area. There are ways to prevent these household fires, so the damage is both sad and senseless. Below, we look at how these fires begin because of multiple issues like dirty dryer vents and excess lint. We also examine how you can prevent a dryer fire in your own home.

Are dryer fires common?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, dryer fires are more common than most people realize. Some key statistics include:

  • An average of 15,790 home fires starting in laundry appliances occurred each year from 2010 to 2014
  • Dryer fires and washing machine fires cause 13 deaths, 444 injuries and about $238 million in damage each year
  • 92 percent of laundry appliance fires start with the dryer
  • Dust, fiber, lint and clothing are the most common items igniting a dryer fire
  • Excess lint and fibers caused 26 percent of dryer fires

How Dryer Fires Start

As you can see from the statistics above, dryer lint is a major factor in the starting of these fires. By cleaning your dryer’s lint filter, you are taking a major step toward fire safety. Lint is very combustible. It plays a major part in most fires when the material comes in contact with the appliance’s hot working parts.

Lint builds up inside the dryer vent, being how dryer fires start in many homes. This vent has many turns and bent areas where lint collects. All it takes is one overheated part to ignite this material. A bad heating element is often the reason the lint goes up in flames. The heating element overheats because of issues like a faulty temperature sensor. Positioning the dryer too close to a wall or using duct extenders made of thin foil or plastic are also how dryer fires start.

 How to Prevent a Dryer Fire

You can prevent a dryer fire by cleaning out the lint filter between each load of laundry. This highly flammable material ignites quickly and provides exactly what a spark or extreme heat needs to make your house go up in flames.

Other ways to prevent a dryer fire include:

  • Professional dryer vent cleaning and dryer vent inspection every 3 to 5 years 
  • Keeping a five-pound ABC fire extinguisher within reach of your laundry appliances
  • Having your professional dryer vent cleaning service check vent location and size for safety
  • Paying attention to how your dryer operates
  • Not running the dryer while you sleep or when you leave the house
  • Contacting your professional dryer vent cleaning service if you notice signs of nesting birds or rodents around your vents

Putting Out a Dryer Fire

Putting out a dryer fire is made easier when you keep a five pound ABC fire extinguisher within reach of the appliance or laundry room. You also need to have a well-planned and practiced evacuation plan, should a fire begin. You should never risk your safety by putting out a fire. Always dial 911 for your local emergency services to respond from the closest Dallas or Fort Worth area fire department.

If you know you can contain the flames, there are six steps you should follow. If you do not feel confident in your ability to follow these six steps, leave your home immediately to concentrate on calling the fire department for help.

Six steps to putting out a dryer fire include:

  1. Know the early signs of a dryer fire.

These signs include popping noises, extreme heat around your dryer or a burning odor.

  1. Leave the dryer door closed.

Trying to open the door can cause burns on your body, while also feeding the fire with oxygen. Besides burns, you risk CO2 exposure and breathing in toxic fumes.

  1. Put the fire out.

Extinguish the flames using an ABC extinguisher. Use the PASS technique:

  • P – Pull the pin using a firm motion
  • A – Aim the extinguisher low at the fire’s base
  • S – Squeeze the lever firmly
  • S – Using a sweeping and spraying motion from side to side at the base of the fire
  1. Unplug your dryer after putting out a dryer fire.

By unplugging the appliance after putting out a dryer fire, you can help prevent reignition. But only do this if you do not see damage around the connections.

  1. Safely exit your laundry room.

After putting out a dryer fire, safely exit the room. Ensure you close the door behind you, as doing so can contain fire if it starts again.

  1. Make safety your biggest priority.

Before installing a new dryer or using your laundry appliances after putting out a dryer fire, call in some experts for inspection. Start with your licensed electrician who can inspect your electrical system. Also have your professional dryer vent cleaning service clean the dryer vents and check all of these connections for safety.

In the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex area, Superior Dryer Vent Cleaning provides the services you need to prevent dryer fires and keep your dryer in safe working order. Call us to schedule your twice-yearly dryer vent cleaning at (214)494-9740.

Preventing Fires that Start In Your Clothes Dryer
Preventing Fires that Start In Your Clothes Dryer

Read more about dryer fires and dryer vent best practices:

A One-Week Plan to a Healthier Laundry Room with the Help of Your Dryer Vent Cleaning Company

A One-Week Plan to a Healthier Laundry Room with the Help of Your Dryer Vent Cleaning Company

Did you know that your laundry room can trigger respiratory infections, allergies, asthma and general breathing difficulties? Beyond physical health, a disorganized or poorly functioning laundry room can affect your mental health, too. With some help from your Dallas-Fort Worth area dryer vent cleaning company and our one-week plan, you can clear out the lint, get organized and live in a healthier home.

For a healthier laundry room, simply follow the plan below. Remember to schedule your dryer vent cleaning company visit in advance for day seven. Their service plays a big role in home health and safety.

Day One: Fully Clean Your Washer and Dryer

Clean appliances run better and get your laundry cleaner. This day’s tasks include:

  • Deep cleaning the washer
  • Deep cleaning the dryer
  • Scheduling the dryer vent cleaning company

 Clean the Washer

To clean your washer, take the following measures:

  • Clean the exterior of your washer using a sponge or soft cloth dampened with cleaning solution
  • Use the same sponge or cloth to clean inside the washer’s lid
  • Ensure you clean the rubber seals on the lid
  • For a washer with a lint trap or removable detergent dispenser, remove these and clean with warm, soapy water
  • Use cotton swabs to remove grime and built-up gunk from crevices, seals and inside the lid
  • Pour one to two cups of white vinegar into the empty washer and run it on the hottest cycle

 Clean the Dryer

Schedule your dryer vent cleaning company to clean the dryer vent as well as the inside of your dryer, just beyond the lint filter. You can likely see built up dust and debris in this area. Not only does this lint aggravate breathing conditions, it also creates a fire risk.

After ensuring you have the dryer vent cleaning company scheduled for their end of your maintenance, follow these steps:

  •  Clean the exterior of your dryer using a sponge or soft cloth dampened with cleaning solution
  • Remove the lint filter and built-up lint from the filter compartment

Remember that it is dangerous to remove the cover of your dryer and you should not do so under any circumstances. Have pros with proper training and equipment provide this service for you. Simply call a dryer vent cleaning company for assistance.

Day Two: Free Yourself from Grime and Clutter

Clear all of the junk from the top of the washer, dryer and other surfaces in your laundry room. Also throw out empty containers, used dryer sheets, unnecessary objects and other trash. Throw out bottles of fluids you do not use. Next, tackle lint balls all over the room.

 Once you complete those steps, move onto to these:

  • Vacuum your laundry room from floor to ceiling and everywhere in between, including under the appliances and furniture
  • Wash or spot clean furnishings, rugs and other textiles
  • Clean counter tops, doors and shelves using an all-purpose cleaner
  • Mop the floor, particularly the corners and under the edges of the appliances
  • If you can safely move the appliances aside enough to clean the floor beneath them, do so

Day Three: Organize for a Healthier Laundry Room

After decluttering on day two, you can more easily organize your laundry room.

  1. Sort standard laundry products into those you use in every load and those you only use sometimes. In the “sometimes” category are supplies like stain fighters. Store your daily products close to the washer. Place the less often used products on another shelf for occasional access. Use open trays or baskets to organize.
  2. Place a decorative bowl for loose change, safety pins, buttons, dollar bills and other things that fall out of pockets.
  3. Place a small trash can nearby for easier disposal of dryer sheets and lint.

Day Four: Inventory Your Supplies and Maintenance Services

Now that you decluttered your supplies on day three, you are ready to inventory your laundry supplies. Purchase back-ups and store them in the proper space to stay organized.

 Items to ensure you have on hand include:

  • Mending kit
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Starch
  • White vinegar for stain removal and machine cleaning
  • Hangers
  • Folding drying rack
  • Clothing steamer

Day Five: Make Your Space Relaxing

For laundry in an unfinished basement or garage, consider adding some relaxing touches. Tips include:

  • Soft lighting
  • One or more outdoor rugs
  • Room divider screen
  • Shelving
  • Attractive baskets

Day Six: Establish Your Routine

 Tips for managing your laundry and not letting it manage you include:

  • Sorting laundry instead of creating piles
  • Designating a basket or bin to separate hand washables
  • Leaving the washer door open for a better smelling laundry room
  • Cleaning the lint filter with every use
  • Scheduling routine service by a dryer vent cleaning company

Day Seven: Service by Your Dryer Vent Cleaning Company

You should already have an appointment with your dryer vent cleaning company. On this day, let them do their part to help you have a healthier laundry room. Their work helps you avoid risk for fires, rodent and bird nests in the vent, or other lint-related dangers. This service also helps you keep your home environment cleaner.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area, call the pros of Superior Dryer Vent Cleaning for your dryer vent installation, relocation and cleaning needs. Learn more about our services and schedule your appointment by calling (214) 494-9740.

A One-Week Plan to a Healthier Laundry Room that Your Family Will Love!
A One-Week Plan to a Healthier Laundry Room that Your Family Will Love!

How to Upgrade Your Laundry Room

How to Upgrade Your Laundry Room

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend an average of 54.2 hours per year doing laundry. This is a lot of time to spend in one bland room of your house, loading and unloading appliances and folding clothes mindlessly. You deserve more excitement from these hours. This is why we asked some of the pros at Superior Dryer Vent Cleaning Service in the DFW Metroplex for some tips about how to upgrade your laundry room.

The good news about laundry? That is, there is no hard and fast rule about how you must perform these tasks. This means you can upgrade your laundry room however you want. You only need to remember some key considerations, such as dryer vent placement and utility access when reconfiguring or redesigning your space.

 Below are some steps for upgrading your laundry room:

 Consider What You Want

Why do you want to upgrade your laundry room? What do you envision for making laundry chores better? What else is important to you? Answering these questions will help you formulate a basic plan. It will also help you figure out your budget.

 Ask yourself questions like:

  •  Do I need the laundry space to function better?
  • What makes doing laundry difficult in the current space?
  • Does the room need to look nice, too?
  • Will I limit the changes to the current room?
  • Am I relocating the laundry facilities?
  • Will I buy new appliances?
  • Do I envision removing walls or rerouting the dryer vent or plumbing?

Decide how you want your laundry space to function. Do you use your laundry room for storage? Does the space also serve traffic through a back door, such as in a mudroom capacity? Do you make crafts in the room or use it as an office? Do pets live in your laundry area? Do you need a space you can more easily keep organized and well-maintained, such as through dryer vent cleaning service?

 Draft a Plan for Your Laundry Room

You need a written plan to achieve all of your laundry room goals within a reasonable amount of time. This plan will also help you whittle down your loftier project to one that is achievable and more in line with your priorities.

When developing your plan, it helps to get some tips or ideas from experts you work with on an ongoing basis. For example, next time you have your dryer vents cleaned, ask the dryer vent cleaning service technician what they suggest to upgrade your laundry room.

Some ideas for taking your laundry room to the next level include:

  • Rods or a drying closet for hanging clothes
  • Window
  • Wine refrigerator
  • Television or sound system
  • Device docking station
  • Pet washing station
  • Fold-down ironing board
  • Drying racks
  • Storage cabinets
  • Rolling carts
  • Counter space or an island
  • Counter stools or comfy seating

 Engage Professionals or Choose to DIY

If your plan involves easy-to-execute changes like new wallpaper, wall paint, organizational bin system or placement of a cozy chair, you can probably complete the work on your own. But if you want major changes like new cabinetry, relocation of appliances, electrical wiring or structural changes, you need some expert help.

Remember, if you intend to move your washer and dryer from their current operating position, you must consider proper dryer vent placement. Talk to a dryer vent cleaning service early in this planning. They will help you understand where your appliances can work and where they cannot operate to maximum benefit. While they are visiting your home for dryer vent location or installation, have them perform dryer vent cleaning service on the existing vent. This is important before you start to upgrade your laundry room.

 Develop Your Budget

Now that you know what you want to achieve in your space and how you want it to function, you have some idea of things you need to purchase. Explore the cost of these items and start making a list to form your budget. If you are engaging a designer or other outside service providers, talk to them about their rates, too.

Do not forget to get rates for special construction needs. These often include rewiring by an electrician, dryer vent location and dryer vent cleaning services, water line extension by a plumber or other services.

 Establish a Timeline and Go!

Once you have your vision, experts involved and a budget, you can start working on your laundry room upgrade. First develop your timeline according to your available time, the pros’ schedules, project goals, budget and a targeted completion date. Then, when ready, start making your vision come to fruition!

 Maintain Your New Laundry Space

After the work ends, you can enjoy your share of the average American’s 54.2 hours of laundry time per year. But do not forget important maintenance needed on an ongoing basis after you upgrade your laundry room. This maintenance includes dryer vent cleaning service to keep your home clean and safe from fire, nesting rodents, allergens and other problems. In the DFW Metroplex, call Superior Dryer Vent Cleaning at (214) 494-9740 for scheduling.

Deciding Where to Put a Laundry Room In Your Home

Deciding Where to Put a Laundry Room In Your Home

If you are updating your current Dallas area home or building a new one, you likely spend time considering floor plans, kitchen and bathroom ideas and other exciting nuances of your project. But have you considered proper dryer vent installation? Yes, your dryer vent is an important part of laundry room construction, relocation or remodeling.

Many people forget about this important component of safe laundry operation. In fact, your dryer vent is much like a tether for your clothes dryer. You cannot have a fully functional laundry facility without both. Even more importantly, they must connect. This possibly limits where you can place a dryer in your home.

Below, we look at some of the essential considerations for the location of your laundry room construction or renovation project. With the experts of Superior Dryer Vent Cleaning’s help, we also explore the role of proper dryer vent installation.

3 Essential Guidelines of Laundry Room Location & Proper Dryer Vent Installation

When deciding where to put your laundry room in your home, you probably have more options than you think. You do not have to stick to the standard concept of the laundry space being near the back door in a boring room. Few people ever want to go into that room, the overwhelmingly cramped and disorganized one. Instead, you simply need to find a space that meets some basic guidelines.

Let’s consider the three basics of laundry facility location:

1. You need enough space.

Some people function well within limited space for laundry, whereas others need a full-sized room to accomplish all of their laundry tasks. Much of your decision on the size of your laundry facility relates to how much washing and drying you do each day, week or month. Households with many family members typically need a larger, well-organized room. But those with only one or two people living in the home can get by quite well with a compact stackable washer and dryer in a tight closet.

First, define what “enough space” means to you. Obviously, the biggest issue is square footage for the placement of your washer and dryer. You also need clearance to open the unit doors to put in and remove laundry. Ask yourself what else you need in your laundry space. Do you need shelves, a folding table, hanging racks, closets and cabinets?

2. Consider Placement of the Utility Connections

When measuring or calculating square footage for your laundry room, remember you need to compensate for laundry connections. These include both wet and dry connections such as the electric outlets, hot and cold water access and a well-placed dryer vent. Just as you do not want electrical cords extended across traffic paths, you must also consider proper dryer vent installation.

Proper dryer vent installation involves venting the dryer to the outdoors. This makes spaces near the outer perimeter of your home best suited for laundry facility placement. Rooftop dryer venting is another option.

3. Traffic Flow Patterns and Concealment of the Facilities

Considering your lifestyle and activities is important when building or redesigning a laundry room. You need to keep the washer, dryer, laundry supplies and laundry, itself, out of the way of foot traffic and everyday activities. Most people do not want to see their laundry appliances on an ongoing basis. They usually prefer to have them behind one or more doors, if not in a separate room.

At the same time, you may need convenience while doing laundry. A good example of this need is if you have small children or otherwise need to multi-task while performing your chores. For people sharing this lifestyle, laundry facilities provide the greatest convenience in the heart of the home.

Where should I put my laundry room?

To help you decide where to put your laundry room, we have some suggestions. These include the most common locations for these facilities:

  •  Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Hallway nook
  • Mudroom
  • Garage
  • Service porch
  • Separate shed or outbuilding

As you develop your plan for your new laundry facilities, talk to the experts at Superior Dryer Vent Cleaning for guidance. You likely need their support in determining proper dryer vent installation.

 Before, During and After Your New Laundry Room Project

As part of your laundry project, you have some key things to manage in relation to your dryer vent. These include:

  •  Dryer vent cleaning on the existing vent
  • Proper dryer vent installation for the new facility
  • Ongoing dryer vent cleaning service

As you can see above, you have dryer vent maintenance, cleaning and installation needs before, during and after your laundry project’s completion. It helps to get your dryer vent cleaning experts involved early for these services and proper dryer vent installation. Not properly cleaning your pre-existing vent can lead to catastrophic fire. Such fires damage many Dallas, Texas area homes each year.

Superior Dryer Vent Cleaning in Plano, Texas provides dryer vent cleaning and proper dryer vent installation services for the DFW Metroplex and surrounding communities. Learn more about our services and schedule your visit today.