Leslie Segrete: This is Leslie Segrete from 2015 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. We are here bringing you the news on the newest, best and most innovative Do It Yourself products. These are statistics that I hate to report but according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, annually there are 15,500 dryer fires in the U.S. That accounts for 370 injuries, 20 deaths and 88 million dollars in damage. Here to help us learn to avoid dangerous dryer fires is Tom Asciolla. Welcome Tom.
Tom Asciolla: Thank you, Leslie. Thanks for having me.
Leslie Segrete: Tom, tell us a little bit about yourself. You’re an inventor?
Tom Asciolla: I am. I run an appliance service company repairing dryers for 25 years. Through my years of service I have come across thousands of dryer fires.
Leslie Segrete: Being that you are the front line of what’s going on with dryer fires and seeing dryer vent clogs happening; sometimes at their worst or even sometimes just at the beginning phase. That prompted you to invent and create the Dry Safer.
Tom Asciolla: That’s correct.
Leslie Segrete: Tell us a bit about it. Because obviously we have the benefit of looking at this super awesome product here. It’s basically an elbow joint but so much more. Tell us about the Dry Safer.
Tom Asciolla: Okay. We designed a Dry Safe to easily slide onto the back of any clothes dryer, whether it’s gas or electric, and the elbow design prevents venting from being crushed when we push it back in tight places.
Leslie Segrete: Okay. It happens every time with every dryer vent that you got there.
Tom Asciolla: Exactly. We have an alarm module that mounts to the wall and it runs on a 9-volt battery. What our system does is two things. It monitors both the air flow and the temperature of your dryer. If your dryer ever malfunctions and overheats, we’ll alert you to that by alerting 5 beeps in the alarm. More importantly, what we do is we monitor the entire air flow of your dryer.
Leslie Segrete: You’re not just monitoring say from the dryer itself to the beginning of the venting system. You can actually see what’s going on from behind the dryer through whatever bends and walls and wherever this is going to exterior of your building.
Tom Asciolla: Yes. Twenty years ago they really relaxed the building codes and they concealed all of the piping to exhaust the-
Leslie Segrete: You never know where they go. You see your dryer. It goes into the wall and then you assume it exits somewhere.
Tom Asciolla: That’s right. There’s no way to know what’s happening inside your walls and ceilings of your home.
Leslie Segrete: I mean, I’ll tell you, Tom. When I first moved into my home … This is now 11 years ago. I remember at one point we’re in the house maybe a month or so and I pulled into the driveway and there was literally lint tumble weed blowing across my driveway. I was like, “Oh, that’s very interesting,” which prompted me to really investigated what was going on behind my dryer and actually clean it out. The amount of lint that came out from the end of the dryer to the exit of the home was just staggering.
Tom Asciolla: This is the first of its kind to monitor the entire system. It also will alert you if you forget to clean the lint filter out.
Leslie Segrete: Even that far in front because that will impact air flow as well?
Tom Asciolla: Absolutely. Because once the lint filter becomes clogged, that prevents any type of air flow into the dryer itself and that will overheat the dryer. All this, it goes from inside the dryer and it could be 50 feet to the outside of the house. Now, Leslie, lint is not the only thing that clogs up these vents. Birds love to make nests.
Leslie Segrete: It’s nice and warm.
Tom Asciolla: Yeah. They get in there, they build nests. They block up that air flow and there’s no way for you to know what’s going on.
Leslie Segrete: You have no idea that that’s even happening until God forbid a fire occurs.
Tom Asciolla: What happens is more prevalent is that in order to prevent birds from making nests, they go ahead and install bird guards on the back of the vent hood on the outside. However, that itself builds lint. It catches it and starts building up.
Leslie Segrete: Traps it in there.
Tom Asciolla: That’s right. By installing the Dry Safer on your dryer, it will monitor the entire system and tell you when any type of restriction, whether it be 5-feet, 10-feet, 25-feet down the line, will tell you and alert you.
Leslie Segrete: The Dry Safer will install to any type of dryer that is out there.
Tom Asciolla: That’s correct. All dryers, whether it’s gas or electric. It’s easy to install. No tools required. You simply just remove your venting, you slide the elbow on, reattach your venting and slide it against the wall.
Leslie Segrete: I noticed you even come with the pipe clamp to attach your venting to the elbow.
Tom Asciolla: That’s right, just in case. Yup. That’s makes up for some other flanges that might be off just a little bit.
Leslie Segrete: Tape. All kinds of random things that homeowners will use to attach one thing to another.
Tom Asciolla: That’s exactly right.
Leslie Segrete: That’s dangerous [inaudible 00:04:41] because some of that deteriorates. That overheats as well. I’m looking at this. I see inside there looks to be … Well, first of all you’ve a flap which is going to help us monitor that air flow, but then there seems to be a little circular monitor in there as well. What is that? A thermostat or a temperature?
Tom Asciolla: Yup. It’s a thermistor that monitors the temperature of the dryer as a back-up in case your dryer malfunctions and it happens a lot and it overheats, we’re going to alert you. It’s a back-up system to your dryer itself.
Leslie Segrete: This is really fantastic. The only thing that we’re going to see on the wall is … It almost looks like a baby monitor to describe it. That’s your alarm system as well.
Tom Asciolla: That’s correct. It works on a 9-volt battery. The life span of the battery is 3 years. It gives you a low-battery alert similar to a smoke alarm to remind you to change the battery.
Leslie Segrete: Except you’ll know where that beeping is coming from.
Tom Asciolla: That’s exactly right.
Leslie Segrete: It’s not the endless search for where is that beep coming from.
Tom Asciolla: That’s correct.
Leslie Segrete: Then, you have what looks like a standard Ethernet cable that’s going right from your Dry Safer right to the monitoring [crosstalk 00:05:42] the wall.
Tom Asciolla: Exactly right. Yup. This is a simple plug and play system. Anybody can install it. We’re very very proud of this. My father was a fireman for 30 years in New York and he was a Fire Marshall as well. He’s very proud of this.
Leslie Segrete: It brings the best of what the two of you do between dryer venting repair and dryer safety and fire safety. How much are you selling them for and where are people finding [them 00:06:06]?
Tom Asciolla: They’re going to be retailing for $49 and they’re going to be found in most major retailers.
Leslie Segrete: That’s really amazing. Tom Asciolla, thank you so much for joining us here at the Money Pit. Tom is the founder and president of Dry Safer. If you want to see this for yourself or check out try DrySafer.com. Thanks so much.
Tom Asciolla: Leslie, it was a pleasure. Thank you.