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  • Writer's pictureBrendan Watson

Dryer Vents: Cleaning Them Prevents Fires

According to a 2012 report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 16,800 structure fires were related to clothes dryers, and these fires resulted in 51 deaths, 380 injuries, and $236 million in property damages. The reason for the majority of these fires was failure to clean the dryer vent systems. Along with chimney and fireplace maintenance, homeowners are highly encouraged to schedule dryer vent cleaning services on an annual basis.

Last month, one of Boardwalk Homecare’s clients experienced a lint fire in their laundry room dryer. Fortunately for this family, our live-in care home health aides were accessible and immediately responsive to handling the emergency situation. In the aftermath, we received the following letter from our client’s daughters to thank our live-in home health aide for keeping their parent’s safe and preventing significant damage to their home. We thought it was worth sharing to other members of the healthcare community who also share in the mission of keeping seniors safe and in the comfort of their homes.


Dear Mr. Watson and Mr. Sullivan, Ingrid has been our parents live-in home health aide for some time now and we wanted to let you know that we have been extremely pleased with the attention to detail and level of care that she continues to provide our mom and dad. We also wanted to bring to your attention a situation that happened just the other day. Yesterday an unexpected fire started in our parent’s laundry room. At the time of the event, Ingrid and my parents were sitting in the living room which is adjacent to the laundry room. The other live-in home health aide was in the kitchen preparing dinner. Ingrid smelled something burning so she quickly ran over to the laundry room entrance. At the same time, the fire detector started to sound off the alarm. Ingrid started to yell ‘fire fire’ to alert the other aide and my parents while she quickly grabbed the phone to call 911.

Acting quick on her feet, Ingrid unlocked our mother’s wheelchair, pushed her to the front door and instructed the other aide to take her outside to safety. Ingrid then returned to the living room to unlock my father’s wheelchair and escort him outside away from the house. The next sequence of events handled by Ingrid went above and beyond either of our expectations. First, she re-entered the house to make her way to the laundry room and unplug the dryer cord from the wall outlet. Next, she made her way to the neighbor’s house to ask him if he would help her shut off the gas line since she did not know where it was. Lastly, she immediately called both my sister and I to let us know what had happened. The firefighters that arrived to my parent’s house acknowledged how Ingrid’s quick decision-making saved the house from severe fire damage caused by a clogged lint filter. Also, and more importantly, she made sure our parents were kept safe. We cannot thank Ingrid enough! We wanted to make sure you knew what a valuable employee you have! Sincerely,

Kathy & Pat

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