Manage An Apartment Community? Here’s What You Need To Know About Dryer Vent Fires
Clogged dryer vents are one of the leading causes of multi-family housing fires. Lint that builds up over time makes the perfect tinder, and all it takes is a single spark to start an inferno. Even if you can’t see any build-up on the outside of the vent, lint can coat the inside of the ductwork leading from your dryer to the outside.
Your risk is especially high if a large number of residents share a limited number of dryers, or if anyone in the building is a smoker. Colder months are especially dangerous here in Michigan, due to dry conditions and cold weather driving smokers indoors.
So how do you cut down on your risk of dryer vent fires? Here are some Apartment Community Dryer Vents Dos and Don’ts:
DO have your dryers professionally installed – You don’t want to take chances on an incorrect installation. A pro will make sure things like electrical plugs, vent connections, and dryer spacing are all properly addressed.
DON’T use a dryer without a lint filter – The lint filter does a great job of catching the majority of clothes lint, and not having a filter is literally playing with fire. You’ll find your dryer ductwork will get clogged much quicker, requiring more frequent cleanings to cut down on fire risk.
DO listen to your residents – If your residents are complaining about the dryer taking a long time to dry their clothes, it could be a sign that the vent is clogged and restricting air flow. Similarly, if they report a dryer that’s running extremely hot, that’s another indicator that the vent is clogged with lint.
DON’T allow smoking – This should go without saying, but discarded cigarettes will ignite lint in seconds. Smokers are going to smoke, of course, so make sure they have a designated outdoor smoking area.
DO inspect regularly – Monthly inspections of the dryer, ductwork, and vent will help you identify risks quickly and act appropriately.
DON’T use vent screens – Wire or plastic screens on the outside vent exit will collect lint and other debris over time, plugging the vent and restricting air flow. Use open coverings on the vents instead.
DO keep your laundry rooms clean – Keep the area around your washers and dryers clean and free of anything flammable. Don’t use laundry facilities for storage, especially of flammable cleaning supplies.
DON’T use coiled-wire foil or plastic venting – Use non-ribbed, durable metal ductwork for your dryer vents.
DO have your dryer vents professionally cleaned – Every six months to 1 year, depending on usage, have a professional clean the dryer vents in all your buildings. Any more than that and you risk dangerous lint buildup. Make sure the professional you choose uses a truck-mounted vacuum system and is certified by NADCA, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.
The simple fact is that clogged apartment community dryer vents are one of the leading causes of residential structure fires in the US. Protect your community with regular cleanings from Modernistic! Our truck-mounted vacuum system is powerful enough to handle any length vent, and our certified technicians have the know-how to handle complex venting systems. Certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), Modernistic will make sure your apartment community dryer vents are thoroughly cleaned! Contact your Modernistic office to inquire about bulk discounts today.