Owning your own home is the “American Dream”. Whether it be a mansion on the lake, a condo in a high-rise or a townhouse in the perfect community, it is something every one of us dreams of having. Once we have that home, we do whatever we can to maintain and improve it so that the property values stay high and our home is truly our “Castle”.
We all take special care with the parts of our home that are normal service items. The hot water heater, the furnace (and the changing of the filters), light fixtures and of course the interior and exterior items that make our homes complete. The one little portion of the home, that appears to go un-noticed is in the little room called the laundry room. The washer and dryer are very important, in particular to a family with several little kids. Here is where the lights begin to flash! Dryer fires are a large cause of homes being lost forever. Over 15,000 fires each year result in loss of property, injuries and even death.
A kicker to this situation is that many home owners insurance policies do not cover this occurence! How could that be? Well, due to the way they are written- long, complicated and filled with “legalese”, You should make certain that your home IS protected. Contact your agent NOW! Do not wait until disaster strikes and your claim is denied before getting answers.
Another thought that you should be considering is making sure you inspect and clean your dryer vents/ductwork very year! Some associations (Condos/townhouses) handle the maintenance on the outside vents. BUT, that is not enough. The dryer is located in “your” laundry room and the vents start “inside” your unit, so you need to schedule your own service. These cleanings and inspections are a minimal investment, and by doing this, your dryer will function better and you will use less electricity, so it become a “win-win” for you (and your loved ones)!
Not sure where your vents are? Perhaps you recently bought the home/condo and you relied on the home inspection to clarify any situations or problems. Needless to say, they are not checking into this as deeply as one would want them to, so you might want to look at other avenues. There is a local company (Northwest suburbs) , called PreventDryerFires.org. They have developed a basic easy to operate test where a coded card is placed in your dryer and while the machine operates, the card notes what the risks may be. They have nothing to sell! Their goal is to make sure that the homeowners understand the dryer in their home and can assist you in finding a local cleaner who will do the best job to ensure that your family is protected.
Their motto is “Keeping American Families Safe- That is www.PreventDryerFires.org or call 1-224-715-4773