Dryer lint poses major fire hazard

Thousands of homes burned each year because of dryer lint

Published On: Apr 09 2013 05:08:56 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 05 2013 02:36:25 PM EDT
Lint
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. -

Dryer lint is a lesser known fire hazard that can be prevented.

Each year, about 6,100 homes are burned, 20 people are killed, while another 190 are injured. In total, fires caused by dryer lint add up to $79 million in damages.

Caroline Bourne’s home joined the statistic a few weeks ago. It caught fire because of dryer lint.

"I was very afraid, I was scared for my kids in the room and the house,” Bourne said.

Another homeowner, Toni Palma said she would have never thought of the possible danger or damage that could have come from a dust bin, while doing a daily chore.

“I just always know to clean the filter after I do a load of wash,” Palma said.

But Rodolfo Alvarez knows better. He works for Aaron Dryer Vents and sees dryers stuffed with lint on a daily basis.

When he look behind Palma’s dryer he showed Local 10’s Ross Palombo all of the lint building up in the back hose. That lint would be at risk of catching fire as it gets heated up by the hot dryer. Alvarez even showed Local 10 lint that was already singed.

Dryers are actually more dangerous than almost every other item in your home. That includes the heater, water heater, air conditioner, and all your electrical equipment.

The only items more dangerous than the dryer are the stove or the fireplace.

Alvarez says fires can be prevented by getting the lint cleaned out every year.

"I am shocked, scared, and upset that I did not do the maintenance,” Bourne said.