Did you know... Fire Prevention Week was established to observe the Great Chicago Fire; the catastrophic fire that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.
On the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (now known as the International Fire Marshals Association), decided that the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should hereafter be observed in a way that would keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.
Home Fire Prevention
Did you know in 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure fires? These fires caused 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, $6.9 billion in direct damage.
How Heating Can Cause Home Fires
- The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
- Portable or fixed space heaters, including wood stoves, were involved in one-third (32%) of home heating fires and four out of five (80%) home heating deaths.
- Half of home heating fire deaths resulted from fires caused by heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.
- In most years, heating is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths, and fire injuries. Fixed or portable space heaters are involved in about 4 out of 5 heating fire deaths
How can you prevent fires in your home?
Here's What To Do:
- Clean the lint screen/filter before or after drying each load of clothes. If clothing is still damp at the end of a typical drying cycle, or drying requires longer times than normal, this may be a sign that the lint screen or the exhaust duct is blocked.
- Cleaning the dryer vent thoroughly can help reduce the risk of a fire.
- Make sure the technician checks the outside dryer vent while the dryer is operating to guarantee exhaust air is escaping. If it is not, the vent or the exhaust duct may be blocked. To remove a blockage in the exhaust path, it may be necessary to disconnect the exhaust duct from the dryer. Remember to reconnect the ducting to the dryer and outside vent before using the dryer again.
- Clean behind the dryer, where lint can build up. Have a qualified technician clean the interior of the dryer chassis periodically to minimize the amount of lint accumulation.
Replace plastic or foil, accordion-type ducting material with rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct.
- Keep the area around the dryer clean and free of clutter.
- To prevent clothes from igniting after drying, do not leave the dried clothes in the dryer.
More info? Call AdvantaClean 877-800-2382 to schedule an appointment for a professional dryer vent cleaning.
Also, read about how sticky softener can stop up the lint filter in our Healthy Home and Business Tips Blog!