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Smoke Alarm Alerts Condominium Occupants | Home & Garden

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Smoke Alarm Alerts Condominium Occupants
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From Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department:

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a condominium fire, Wednesday, November 16, 2011, at approximately 9 p.m., in the Reston area of Fairfax County. The condominium is located at 2335 Freetown Court, No. 2-B.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke coming from the first floor stairwell upon arrival. Crews used ground ladders to rescue several occupants from a third floor balcony. Firefighters brought the fire under control in approximately 30 minutes. A smoke alarm activated in the condominium, providing the occupants early warning to escape unharmed. Two adults have been displaced. Red Cross is providing assistance. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $30,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Clothes inside a dryer ignited and caused the fire.

Clothes Dryer Safety Tips

·    Clean the lint filter before or after each use. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can be trapped. Remove accumulated lint around the drum.

·    Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.

·    Do not operate the dryer without a lint filter.

·    The interior of the dryer and venting system should be cleaned periodically by qualified service personnel. If you notice the drying time is longer, clean the vent system thoroughly to ensure proper airflow.

·    Replace plastic, vinyl, and aluminum foil venting with rigid or flexible metal venting.

·    Ensure the air exhaust bent pipe is unrestricted and the outdoor vent flap opens when the dryer operates.

·    Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and the machine is connected properly.

·    Do not leave a dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.

·    Do not dry clothing/fabric on or near anything flammable (alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline, spot removers, dry-cleaning solvents, etc.). Flammable substances give off vapors that could ignite or explode.

·    Keep the dryer area clear of things that can burn, such as boxes or clothing.

·    Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to ensure the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.

·    Have a functional smoke alarm placed in the laundry area (somewhere near the dryer).

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