According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 15,000 fires are sparked every year by clothes dryers. Lint and other debris can build up in your dryer vent creating a fire hazard by reducing air flow to the dryer and backing up dryer exhaust gases. The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires is failure to clean them.
Dryer fires usually start because of a buildup of lint in the dryer itself and in the hose connected to the dryer. In order to prevent house fires from starting in dryers, residents should take time to clean the dryer's lint filter, as well as the hose leading to the dryer's vent.
Never use the dryer without a lint filter and make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove any lint that has collected around the drum. Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
It's also never a good idea to ever leave your home or go to bed when the dryer is running.
Here are some of the signs that it’s time to clean your vent:
East Pierce Fire and Rescue would like to remind you to clean your dryer venting frequently. Clothes dryer fires are preventable! Visit our website www.eastpiercefire.org for more home safety tips.