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How To Prevent A Dryer Fire

How To Prevent A Dryer Fire

August 21 2015 | Latest News

Laundry is part of life’s weekly grind. But did you know that dryers cause roughly 15,500 home structure fires, 29 deaths, 400 injuries and $192 million in direct property loss each year? What’s more, most dryer fires happen in the winter. 

The most common cause of dryer fires is failure to do a thorough cleaning. A deep comprehensive dryer cleaning should be performed annually.  Because a lint trap is not a foolproof method for catching all the fuzzy stuff from clothes, lint can gradually build up and catch fire in the heating element or exhaust duct. Further compounding the problem is the fact that many people sometimes install dryers in areas that result in dryer vent pipes being much longer than recommended by the manufacturer. Those longer vent pipes have a greater likelihood of being twisted and turned to accommodate the structure of the home and that creates spaces for lint to collect.

Another cause would be laundering an item containing cleaning solutions not meant to be dried at a hot temperature.  The material can combust and cause a blaze.


1.    Clean out the lint filter after every use.
2.    Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.
3.    Remove any flammables, like cleaning supplies, away from your dryer.
4.    Read the care labels on the products you intend to dry to make sure they do not contain combustibles.(Use caution with items like bath mats).
5.    Use a metal dryer duct. Metal ducts don’t sag, and they’re more likely to contain any fires that would start.  
6.    Wash clothing stained with chemicals more than once—and definitely opt to line dry over machine dry.
7.    Clothes that are extra hot to the touch after a normal dry cycle are a telltale sign that something’s wrong. Call for service.
8.    Never leave your home while your dryer is on.
9.    Make sure that the outdoor vent flap isn’t covered by debris.