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Tip #273: Laundry List

What is a common apartment hazard that can be easily overlooked and easily rectified?

Clothes dryers are the cause of thousands of residential fires in the U.S. each year, the most common reason being failure to clean out the vent. In a recent study FEMA found that 28 percent of dryer fires were caused by dust, fiber and lint. These fires caused injuries and million in property losses.

And, according to FEMA, a full load of wet clothing contains up to 1½ gallons of water, and moist ductwork is an ideal breeding ground for mold.

The experts at GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration in Deer Park, New York suggest that summer is a great time to make sure the dryers at your rentals are clean and safe:

This includes cleaning out the vents so they won’t get clogged — it’s important for the safety of your residents.

Regularly check dryer exhaust vent hoses for buildup. Lint, fiber, dust and other debris can get trapped in the dryers ductwork which can block airflow. Bends in the vent hoses also can cause serious buildup.

Give your tenants a little advice on proper use of the dryer by using a safety checklist posted in the laundry room or one you give tenants at move-in. This is especially important if your dryers are located inside of the tenants unit. In-unit dryers create more risk because it’s more difficult to check it. It’s very important that the tenant always remove lint from the trap before each use. Failure to do so is the most common cause of dryer fires.

Tenants also need to know to never put rubber, plastic, foam or any materials that were in contact with a flammable liquid in the dryer, even if they were recently washed. It is also dangerous to the leave the dryer running while out of the house or sleeping. If something goes wrong, they may not be able to stop it in time.

Make summer your time of year to check that dryers have safe clean ductwork. This simple step can prevent you from losing a bundle on your rental investment.

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

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