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COIT of South Jersey

by Glori Gayster

October is Fire Prevention Month. Protect your home from disaster with help from COIT of South Jersey A house fire can be one of the most devastating experiences a family could ever face. According to Lori Colino, owner of COIT of South Jersey, “Due to the ignitable nature of lint, dryer vent fires are the hottest and fastest spreading fires. They are known to cause some of the greatest damage and all too often, there’s just nothing left of the home. It’s sad because with proper maintenance, the fires are often preventable.” The Fire Analysis and Research Division of the NFPA says clothes dryers are responsible for an estimated 15,500 home fires in the US annually causing over $84 million in direct property damage. The leading cause of the fires was lint build-up in the exhaust system. COIT technicians are Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians who have successfully completed a course of study and written exam concerning the codes, procedures and standards for dryer exhaust duct cleaning,” says Colino. Over the past 60 years, COIT has provided high quality cleaning services with state-of-the-art equipment and technique. “We stand behind our commitment to satisfaction and we are the only company that offers a written money back guarantee,” says Colino. Complimentary dryer vent inspections
The smoke detectors are in place. An escape path is set. But is the dryer vent clear? “There is nothing that should replace professional dryer vent maintenance,” says COIT certified technician, Ed Smith. “While the frequency is determined by usage, we strongly recommend you have this process done on an annual basis. The potential dangers are too devastating.” As part of its commitment to fire prevention and in support of Fire Prevention Month, COIT of South Jersey is offering complimentary dryer vent inspections through the month of October. They are also providing its dry vent cleaning service at a special rate through October 31st. For those who have easy access to the back of their dryer, COIT technicians will provide additional self-maintenance techniques that can be used throughout the year, including hand cleaning the hose and reserve. Pro-active maintenance helps prevent fires
Rather than just simply clear the hose connection and exterior trap, COIT certified technicians use compressed air to flush through the entire dryer vent and blow the lint outside. COIT’s “snake-through process” starts at the back of the dryer and continues all the way to the exit vent. This improves airflow and ensures the maximum cleaning and removal of lint. Still, says Smith, “Some homeowners think it is okay to clean the lint trap only once in a while. But it should be done between every cycle and sometimes twice depending on the size or type of load.” Pro-active maintenance lowers risk of fire
Says Smith, “One of the most common mistakes that homeowners make which can lead to fire, is to not knowing the signs of a clogged dryer vent. If it takes more than one cycle to dry your clothing or your towels never seem to dry, there is something wrong.” Also, an exterior inspection of the dryer vent should be done; you should look for any sign of a bird nest at the flap of the dryer vent. This is a common problem that can easily be fixed by placing a bird guard on the end of the dryer vent run. We have also come to homes and found that the hose from the dryer is far too long. I’ve seen a 30 foot hose in a space that requires only inches,” Smith says. “The result is a hose with many, many bends and a decreased flow of air.” To ensure proper drying times, the dryer should not be pushed up against the wall, crushing the hose. Further, to help prevent fire, the hose needs to be as straight as possible, eliminating any kinks that may hinder the flow. COIT provides other important preventative maintenance services
Because dust and dirt circulates in the air, COIT’s air duct cleaning can significantly reduce air-borne allergens and have a positive impact on asthma sufferers, children and the elderly. Households with pets or smokers, as well as homes with an excessive number of floor vents, especially benefit from consistent air duct care. Colino says that, “There are several key times when we strongly suggest air ducts be cleaned. This should be done prior to turning on your heat for the first time each season. We also suggest clearing ducts before painting, installing drapery and in conjunction with carpet cleaning.” For new homeowners, air ducts should be professionally cleaned prior to moving in to eliminate contaminants left by previous residents. This should be done even in homes that have been vacant for some time. COIT’s region office is located at 609 Grace Street in Somerdale and services South Jersey and Philadelphia. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (856) 566-0700 or visit Tips For Preventing Dryer Vent Fires
* Use common sense: if the dryer isn’t drying properly or if it was replaced within the past year, have it checked.
* Schedule professional dryer vent maintenance annually.
* Clean the lint trap between every cycle
* Make sure that the dryer is not pushed too close to the wall and that the hose is not kinked.
* Install a bird guard in the exterior vent exit to prevent them from nesting there.
* Clear the reserve and end of the hose by hand if there is easy access behind the dryer. Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family, Volume 1, Issue 7 (September, 2010).
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