You can ask that question to Robert DeNiro!
Robert De Niro’s Central Park West apartment went up in flames when lint in a clothes dryer caught fire a few years ago.
“Right above my head these 12-foot-tall flames exploded out of the 5th floor window,” said Nathan Bear, 23, who was outside moving his car.
The fire started around 2 p.m. in a pricey high rise near West 68th Street and took firefighters an hour to get under control, officials said.
“The dryer in 5W caused the fire that spread through the entire 5th floor,” said Battalion Chief Mike Meyers.
Meyers, a firefighter at the scene said, “Some of the lint [in the dryer] caught fire.”
The 5th floor had extensive damaged from the fire, smoke and water, fire department officials said. The 4th and 6th floor apartments were also damaged in the all hands fire, Meyers said.
Did you know that dryers cause more fires than chimneys?
There is no way to know when a fire can sneak up on you, that’s why the manufacturers and fire departments recommend early cleaning and inspection as the only prevention.
“I clean out the lint screen every time I dry clothes. Why isn’t that enough?” It’s not enough, most of lint gets past the lint screen and accumulates in the air ducts.
Dryer vents require regular service for safety assurance. But your dryer is at a greater risk if:
• Clothes are hot but still damp after one cycle.
• your dryer takes more than one cycle to dry¬
• Dryer is hot to the touch
• Lint accumulates around/behind dryer. ¬¬
• Laundry room is humid or warm when dryer is in use
• Musty smell coming from dryer
In average there are about 12,700 clothes dryer fires a year resulting damages, 330 injuries, and 20 lives lost.
Signs your dryer vent cleaning is overdue:
• Clothing does not dry completely after a normal drying cycle
• A musty odor noticed
• Clothing seems unusually hot to the touch after a drying cycle
• More than a year has passed since the last dryer vent cleaning service
• Debris is noticed within the outside dryer vent opening
• Drying time for clothing takes longer than 35 to 40 minutes in duration
• Excessive heat is noticed within the room in which the dryer is being operated
• Large amounts of lint accumulate in the lint trap for the dryer during operation
• A visible amount of lint and debris is noticed behind the appliance
• Excessive odor is noticed from dryer sheets that are used during the drying cycle
Regular dryer vent cleaning will also help your dryer to run more efficiently drying faster and economically.