Tips to Preventing a Clothes Dryer Fire

There are a variety of ways a house fire can start — a candle left burning, cooking mishap, or an electrical overload.

But, did you know that your dryer can also be the source of a house fire? According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them properly.*

Clothes dryer fires most often occur because of lint accumulation, an extremely combustible material, and reduced airflow. When lint builds up it reduces the amount of air that can flow through the vent hose. A small spark from the machine can easily catch the lint on fire.

The vast majority of these fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January. To prevent your clothes dryer from being the cause of a fire, check out these fire prevention tips below:

  • Do not overload your dryer with clothes
  • Have a professional install and service your dryer to ensure it is in proper working condition
  • Check that the vent hose is in good shape and the hose is not crushed or kinked

◦ If you have a plastic white vent hose, replace it immediately with an aluminum hose

  • Clean the vent line (from the wall behind the dryer to the outside flap)

◦ This step may require professional assistance

  • Always use a lint filter
  • Clean the lint filter after each load of laundry
  • Inspect for excess lint behind/around the lint filter and the drum of the dryer