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If you missed this bit of news in June of 2012 you wouldn’t be the only one. Robert De Niro’s fifth-floor Upper West Side New York apartment was destroyed by fire. It turns out that it was caused by dryer lint buildup.

Unfortunately, in today’s larger homes, condo and apartment developments, the dryer runs are often stretched over one hundred plus feet with ninety degree angles that at times actually go up! This allows for lint to back up and buildup over time. Because lint is one of the most flammable and combustible materials in your home, it doesn’t take much imagination to see what can happen if all the elements are right.

The good news is there are things you can do right now to help prevent this type of fire and accident in your condo, apartment or house. You can call and schedule someone to come and clean out the dryer vents in you home. If you simply do this on an annual basis you should never have to worry about this possibility.

However, there are families that use there dryer’s very little and some that use them all the time. If you are a “every once in a while” user, there is a meter that is used to test the air flow coming from your dryer vent. This would be a great way to determine if you need the vents cleaned or not. If the air flow is above an eleven you are okay to wait a bit before cleaning. Anything below that means your vents need to be cleaned sooner than later.

If you are a power user and use your dryer more than 4 to 5 times per week, ask your dryer technician on the next appointment if you might need to have them cleaned more than once per year. Take what he says to heart as it can save the lives of you and your family.

Another way to gauge whether you need your dryer vents looked at and cleaned is your dryer’s performance. If it take more than one cycle to adequately dry a normal load of clothes then you should have the vents cleaned out thoroughly. The last thing you should do in this case is to continue to dry your clothes multiple times. This causes your dryer to reach over heated levels, which can be extremely dangerous if there is a lint buildup somewhere in the vent.

The bottom line is that no one is immune to this issue. If it can happen to a Robert De Niro, then it can happen to you. Call today and make an appointment to get your dryer vent cleaned.