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How to Protect Your Family from a House Fire
COIT Cleaning and Restoration

by Liz Hunter

Among the many services COIT Cleaning and Restoration provides to homeowners in South Jersey, dryer vent cleaning is one that can save lives. Many do not realize the danger in skipping regular dryer vent cleanings. Lint buildup can cause a serious clog in the vent, increasing the likelihood of a fire. COIT partners with the Somerdale Fire Department every year during Fire Prevention Month to raise awareness and make South Jersey homes safer. Here, they offer important statistics and tips that you need to know: 

1/2 lb - Amount of lint removed during a typical vent cleaning

15,000 - Number of house fires caused by clogged dryer vents annually.  Signs of a clogged dryer vent: 

  • Clothes take longer to dry
  • Lint falls from dryer when removing clothes
  • Exterior vent flap barely opens while running dryer

Fire Prevention Tips from Joey Garufi, Somerdale Fire Marshal

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are the first line of defense. Homes should have one on every level, and they should be placed just outside bedroom doors. If a home has an attached garage, place a carbon monoxide detector in the adjacent room.
  • Prepare and practice an escape plan. Families should know how to react when a detector sounds. Just like in schools, fire drills should be practiced at home.
  • Practice two ways out of each location in the house.
  • Teach kids to feel doors with the back of their hand. If hot, use the second way out.
  • If there is smoke or heat or both: get low and go.
  • When leaving a room, shut the door behind you to slow the spread of a fire. Make your way out and stay out.
  • Do not re-enter the home under any circumstances.
  • Designate a meeting space once outside.
  • During a fire, remain calm and resist panic. You will use less oxygen and think more clearly.
  • All fires start with a single flame. A fire doubles in size every 30 seconds.

COIT Cleaning and
Restoration of South Jersey

609 Grace St. | Somerdale
(856) 566-0700 | COIT.com

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 8 (October, 2017).

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