Most home fires either start with a faulty electric socket OR your dryer.
A few weeks ago, our good friends’ house almost caught on fire. It was a scare . . their dryer caught on fire and they fought it for a good 20 minutes!! Since then, they’ve been going around friends homes & cleaning the dryer vents. Super sweet of them. They’ve cleaned vents that haven’t been cleaned in more than a decade!!! Each time they do a cleaning, they gather at least a hefty bag full of lint. They cleaned ours this past weekend and found a BIRDS NEST in our vent. I was wondering where that chirping sound was coming from last spring. . .
This past Wednesday, the Hubbs took a well deserved day off to do home things (kinda sad how you have to take a day off work to clean up our mess) and he started laundry. When I got home, I smelt something burning. He thought I was just really paranoid, but I immediately took out what was in the dryer and smelled everything. It wasn’t the clothes. It wasn’t the back of the dryer either. (whoo) But then, I smelled the lint catcher…… and then I started unscrewing the catcher and shoved my whole arm in there to dig for lint. Initially, I just found some old lint flying around, then I felt the walls. At first, I thought it was the felt covering, but I dug my nails in & pulled out my arm to find it was MATTED LINT – stuck to my dryer walls. I yelled for chopsticks and started clearning out the patches. To my surprise, I found a palm sized mat that was HALF BURNT. I started shaking. I immediately unplugged the dryer & let everything cool down. I stayed in front of our dryer for a good half hour to make sure that nothing was burning. Then I started to unscrew every screw I found. . . and then. . the basket fell. I broke our dryer. Hubbs couldn’t reallign it for the life of him. Threw the towel on the floor and called it a night. We deemed that our 5 year old beat up & abused dryer is dead.
I think this time around my stupidity was surely a blessing in disguise. Our home was just a few loads away from burning down. What if I left it running while I was sleeping? What if I left it on when we leave for work? All those senarios just ran thru my mind. A blessing in disguise for certain.
Thank god we funded our modest $1000 emergency fund! We just finished funding it last week, and of course, when things go right, they go wrong. But we come prepared this time. No using credit cards. We paid with HARD COLD (unwilling to let go of) CASH. We were able to find a good GE Brand washer & dryer for under $1000 @ Home Depot. We didn’t really need a new washer, but hey, for a washer that’s on sale for $549 -$100 in cash for clunker, $100 PG&E (electicity) rebate & another 10% off for High Efficiency models, we walked out with a new washer for $295. That washer was $699 retail about 40% off! I can already see my energy savings since it takes our old washer 90 minutes to wash and another 120 minutes to dry.
In a nutshell – clean your dryers.
Here’s a youtube video. It’s really an eye opener.