National Fire Prevention Week – Dryer Vent & Kitchen Hood Fire Facts

A clip art icon of a fire extinguisher.It’s National Fire Prevention Week, originally created by Calvin Coolidge to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Every year in October, the National Fire Prevention Association and the U.S. Fire Administration team up to spread awareness about fire safety and prevention in the home. Some quick facts about home fires in America:

  • Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • In 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,755 deaths, 12,200 civilian injuries, and $7.0 billion in direct damage
  • Home fires killed an average of eight people every day in 2013.
  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment.
  • In 2010, almost 17,000 home fires were reported involving washers or dryers, causing 51 deaths, 380 injuries, and $236 million in damages. This accounts for 4.5% of all home fires.
  • The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean (32%).

Some key takeaways from this information:

  • Keep smoke detectors in every bedroom, sleeping area, and floor of the house. A 3 bedroom, 2-story home should have a minimum of five smoke alarms.
  • Be careful when it comes to cooking, most home fires are started in the kitchen.
  • Be diligent when it comes to cleaning your dryer vents and exhaust.

If you’re in Monterey, Preferred Hood & Duct can help with the latter two.

Kitchen grease hoods are a major cause of kitchen fires, caused when fire from the stove is sucked into hood ducts which are coated with flammable grease and fat. Preferred HD offers residential and commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning services throughout Monterey.

Your dryer vents should be cleaned regularly, between every six months to two years depending on how often you do laundry. If your dryer is drying worse, taking longer, or producing hotter clothes than normal, it’s likely that it needs its vent cleaned. Preferred HD also offers home and commercial dryer vent cleaning services.

More resources about National Fire Prevention Week

United States Fire Administration

Fire Safety Checklist (pdf)