Dryer Vent Maintenance and Insurance Claims

October 6, 2020 03:03 PM
 

 

 

By: Tom Asciolla, Apex Dryer Vent Cleaning & Steve Roderick, JGS Insurance

AdobeStock_267989683Did you know that there are approximately 15,600 dyer fires each year resulting in 20 deaths and 370 injuries and over $99Million in direct property loss?” (Consumer Products Safety Commission) 

These tragic statistics can be prevented with simple, routine maintenance.  Lack of maintenance is the number one reason for dryer fires, according to Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a respected product testing organization.  When consumers do not clean the lint traps or have the vent systems professionally cleaned, they can clog and are running risk of fire. 

A clothes dryer works by forcing hot air through a turning drum. Wet clothes placed in the drum are then dried by moving hot air. It is possible for a full load of wet clothes to contain as much as one and a half gallons of water. Lint, consisting mostly of small fibers from the clothes and debris in or on the clothes, is created from the clothes as the clothes tumble in the drum. While much of the lint is trapped by the dryer’s filter, lint is also carried through the vent system along with moist air.  Lint is a highly combustible material that can accumulate both in the dryer and in the dryer vent. Accumulated lint leads to clogs.  Clogs happen when lint bypasses your dryer’s lint filter and builds up in your dryer venting system resulting in reduced airflow which poses a potential fire hazard. In addition to the accumulation of lint, blockages can also occur when squirrels, chipmunks and birds make nests in your venting system. This can cause your dryer to work too hard, run longer, overheat and potentially lead to a fire.

Cleaning the lint trap after every use will only remove a portion of lint generated: some excess lint will travel into the dryer vent leading to a clog which reduces adequate airflow. When your dryer’s vent hose becomes crushed between the wall and your dryer, clogging occurs quicker, causing a safety hazard.  If your dryer is taking longer to dryer your clothes or hotter than normal, or if you notice condensation around the duct system, it most likely means your dryer vent is clogged and you should call a professional as soon as possible. 

Will a dryer fire cause my insurance rate to increase?  Most likely.  Insurance carriers view dryer fire as “preventable” more than “accidental”, which can weigh heavier than some other claims.  All property applications contain at least some form of question pertaining to a dryer vent and chimney cleaning program. Underwriters will often ask for a copy of the dryer/chimney policy for the Association. Not having one doesn’t necessarily mean they will not cover the Association, but there could be premium savings for Associations that do. It’s as easy as a resolution.  By way of the Radburn Law, it can be passed rather quickly.  Highlighting a resolution in your Executive Summary helps bolster your Loss Control, and ultimately tells the underwriters that your community proactively maintains their property.

Having routine maintenance done in your home will also help with your insurance coverage.  Since dryer vent fires are prevalent in homes and can easily be prevented, it is one of the first items your carrier will ask about. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Visit Apex Dryer Vent & Cleaning on the web at: https://dryerventcleaningnewjersey.com/property-management-resources/ 

Email Tom at: apexappliance@comcast.net

Visit JGS Insurance on the web
at: https://www.jgsinsurance.com/industry/habitational/

Email Steve at: sroderick@jgsinsurance.com

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