Spokane Fire say cleaning clogged dryer vents can reduce fire risk

October 17, 2022 6:27 PM

Posted: October 17, 2022 6:27 PM

Updated: October 17, 2022 6:30 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Fire Department says more than 16,000 residential fires started by dryers happen every year across the US

Spokane fire officials say checking your dryer vent often can reduce the fire risk.

“We try to make sure that ducting itself is clean,” said Michelle Welch, a local homeowner.

Once a month, there’s something Welch’s family always checks off of their cleaning list, because she knows a clogged dryer vent could bring devastating results.

“One of my closest friends says her house caught on fire because of dryer lint build-up. It made us very aware of the cleanness of a dryer,” Welch said.

“It’s extremely common,” said Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Chief. “At home often people will start their dryer and leave, and come home to residential fire or home on fire. It’s especially disappointing when we know those are completely avoidable. ”

The lint can trap the heat inside when the lint builds in the dryer vent. Spokane Fire Chief says removing build-ups by disconnecting and vacuuming is important.

SFD says people should check the dryer vent, at least every month. Any combustible materials should be stored away from the washer and dryer. A smoke detector and a fire extinguisher should be in the laundry room.

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