Maintaining stoves and dryers can prevent a tragedy

Danny Raymond has been a firefighter for 29 years and he has seen many wood stove and dryer fires.

"There's about 2900 nationwide annual dryer fires each year and basically that's due from not cleaning your lint trap out and not cleaning your dryer properly," Raymond said.

That's right, the primary reason dryer fires occur is due to insufficient maintenance. But it's not just dryer fires that folks need to think about.

"Basically this cold weather no one wants to shut down their wood stove. No one wants to shut down their pellet stove so they're continually burning and basically lack of maintenance is our biggest thing is why we're going to wood stove fires and pellet stove fires," Raymond said.

The key factor leading to these types of fires, is snow build-up around dryer vents, or vents for a wood or pellet stove. When these are covered, they can't properly ventilate, so heat builds up, and a home fire can easily result.

"After you get done shoveling your roof, make sure that your dryer vents, make sure that your pellet stove vents, make sure that any wood stove vents or pipes are clear of all snow. Make sure that you do the required maintenance," Raymond said.

Raymond says that more than 50,000 home fires, resulting in around 400 fatalities, occur each year in the U.S. due to heat-build-up, so he wanted to re-state the main safety point.

"It is very important to make sure that your pipes and your stoves and dryer vents are all cleaned and maintained properly," Raymond said.

It might be a bit of extra work, but it can prevent a tragedy!