Protect Your Home: Prevent Dryer Vent Fires


According to the United States Fire Administration, on average, about 2,900 fires every year are caused by clothes dryers. Dryer fires are responsible for deaths, injuries, and millions in property damage. The main cause of dryer fires is clogged dryer vents, so it’s easy to see the importance of keeping yours clean.

What causes a dryer fire?

You probably know about the lint trap in your dryer. This lint also collects in the dryer vent when it makes it through the dryer’s filter. When the lint builds up in the dryer or exhaust duct, it can block airflow, causing heat to build up. As lint is highly flammable, with enough heat build-up, it can easily catch fire.

How can you prevent a dryer fire?

Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct regularly. You can check to see that the air is escaping the exhaust properly. If it’s not, you will have to disconnect the dryer from the vent to clean it and reconnect it before using it again. In addition, clean the lint screen/filter after drying each load of clothes. A sign that the screen or exhaust duct is blocked is if drying takes longer than usual for a normal load of clothes.

How do you stop a dryer fire?

Dryer fires can be put out using a fire extinguisher or fire blanket. It’s a good rule to have a fire extinguisher in the house for emergencies, and most people keep one in the kitchen. To be even better prepared, you can keep an additional one in or near the laundry room. Fire blankets are made of wool and are designed to smother a fire to put it out. It can be mounted on a wall to keep it within easy reach.

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