Homeowner Insurance Basics: Doing Proper Maintenance to Prevent Dryer Vent Fires

Every year, many New Jersey homeowners experience fire damage in their homes. Fire can result from a number of different reasons, and when possible it is always best for homeowners to take the steps necessary to prevent fires from occurring in the first place.

One of the most frequent causes of fire in New Jersey homes is due to dryer vents that have not been cleaned regularly. The familiar scenario is that the dryer gets overheated, causing the clothes, nearby carpets, or other flammable material to catch on fire. If the fire is not discovered quickly, it may spread to other rooms and could end up doing major damage to the whole house.

To prevent this from happening, it is a good idea to pay close attention to the condition of your dryer vent. First of all, always clean the lint out of your dryer vent after every load of laundry. Secondly, make sure to have your dryer vents cleaned on a regular basis. Here are some possible signs that it’s time to get the dryer vent cleaned:

• Clothes taking a longer time to be dried
• Clothes never get fully dry no matter how long they are in the dryer
• Clothes come out of the dryer hotter than usual
• The laundry room has a higher level of humidity than normal
• The outside of the dryer feels especially hot
• You smell something burning near the dryer

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or it’s been a few years since the dryer vent was cleaned, then it’s time to take action. If you are not able to do the cleaning yourself, get in touch with a professional that can do it for you.  This small investment in time and/or money will prevent one of the most common causes of fire damage claims on your New Jersey homeowners insurance policy and give you greater peace of mind knowing you are at much lower risk of a dryer vent fire.