As a person who writes news stories every day, I have heard of homes burning to the ground because of a clothes dryer.  So take a minute for the following reminder.

Drew Coder, Manasquan Fire Commissioner (and Owner/Operator of Dempsey's Carpet Cleaning) gave me some great advice that could save your life.

Get your dryer duct cleaned out once a year, especially if you use your dryer often.

I have an old dryer, and I thought that was the reason that it was taking me an hour to dry a medium-sized load. But it turns out that at least part of the reason was because the hose leading outside was getting clogged. If I had let this go too long, I could have had a fire burst out...inside my house.

Do you realize how easily lint ignites? I used to think it was enough just to empty the lint trap inside the dryer after each load. But once I saw my lint trap being cleaned out, I realized that there was still so much more lint underneath the actual screen that also had to be dug out.

It is also important to not shove the dryer directly against the wall...because the vent needs room to...vent.

Another thing I was guilty of was squeezing as much stuff into 'storage' on the floor surrounding the dryer that would have easily ignited if there was a fire.

Use a professional when getting your ducts cleaned out...there is proper equipment and knowledge necessary to get this done correctly.

Thanks, Drew, for all the great advice!