Dryer fires typically originate from two places, dryer venting and the lint trap.  More than one-third of the fires are attributed to a failure to clean and perform routine maintenance. This means that many of these fires are preventable.

Clogged Dryer Vents Ignite 15,000 House Fires a Year - Abbotts

When and How Do Dryer Fires start?

It has been reported that approximately one third of clothes dryer fires occur due lint buildup. With that being said, if you feel that your clothes are taking a longer time to dry than normal, are getting hotter than usual, or are having other similar issues, reach out to a maintenance professional for help! This can potentially save your home and your life by preventing a potential house fire.

However, there are several ways that you can help prevent and avoid dryer fires! Read the list below to find out how you can prevent or even eliminate this kind of fire hazard.

Causes of Dryer Fires

SE Bend dryer fire fills home with smoke, carbon monoxide; family dog lost  - KTVZ

Mechanical and electrical failure

Like anything with moving parts and electronic components, faulty wiring and damaged machinery can potentially cause dryer fires. While such fires are not nearly as common as they are with washing machines, it is still important to have these parts checked and repaired or replaced if necessary.

Improper dryer use

This refers to any fire caused by using a clothes dryer outside of the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines, such as over-stuffing the appliance. However, this may also include situations involving items that shouldn’t be put in a dryer, or items with instructions advising against drying with heat.

In general, items made out of plastic, rubber, and foam are generally not suited for clothes dryers. For example, a simple bathroom item, like a bathmat with a rubber back, could potentially be a fire hazard.

How To Prevent Dryer Fire

Dryer Safety - Carthage Fire & Rescue

Don’t Use your dryer without the lint filter

Don’t try to use your dryer without the lint filter because this may also cause a fire. Your dryer needs this so that it can work properly. This will ensure each dry cycle will be much less of a fire hazard and will dry your clothes faster and safer. If you don’t clean it out correctly, then that may also become a dryer lint fire starter!

Clean the dryer’s lint trap regularly

Always try to check and clean the lint trap each time before you start your machine. Whenever you feel that your dryer is not working properly or any unusual sound is coming from it, check your lint trap. If you still run into any issues, you could also contact a maintenance professional to check whether you have excess lint in your dryer vent pipe.

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