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Dry Humor

01/02/2020 09:24:39 AM


A week, 10 days ago, Natalie and I were both working from home, when Natalie rushed upstairs with an announcement that over the years, I have learned to take seriously. “Fire!”, “I smell fire!” she exclaimed, which caused me to jump up and pay attention. We both walked around, trying to draw near to the source, and slowly but surely (well it was quicker than in my recollection), we both drew near to the laundry closet. Opening the door, we could easily smell the pungent odor of a burning motor (hey, that rhymes!) We immediately turned off the clothes dryer and then unplugged it, then set out to uncover the problem. It seems that we had a clogged dryer vent that was filled with some pretty nasty and wet stuff, slowing down the venting, thus causing the motor to work harder, thus creating a potential for destroying the dryer if not causing a fire!

You see, today we live in a townhouse and apparently (and in hindsight quite obviously), unless one’s laundry closet happens to be built next to an exterior wall, the dryer vent has to snake many feet through the walls of the house to reach the outside. (And that my friends, is what I am here to share with you today.) But first the big caveat. This article is not any kind of expert advice or professional recommendation, if that wasn’t already obvious!. But it does come from a sincere desire to share with you some bits of “tachlis,” (practical wisdom) that this generally household-repair-deficient rabbi has had to learn on the fly. “Tachlis” isn’t great and deep Torah study, but it is stuff that can save our lives, or at least save us money, time and heartache.

So, with that said, whether you live in a townhouse or a single-story home, checking the safety of your dryer vent is a must! But don’t take my word for it – the US Fire Administration reports that 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. Our great sages didn’t have to worry about their dryer vents, but they did insist we focus some of our time on out-of-sight, out-of-mind dangers that are not generally in the headlines, but are far more common than some of the worst things  we see, hear or read about in the news on a daily basis! Happy New Year!

Sat, June 6 2020 14 Sivan 5780