Homeowner Tip of the Month: Don’t Get Burned by Your Clothes Dryer

Did you know that each year 2,900 home fires are caused by home clothes dryers? According to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year an estimated five deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss are reported. 

But what causes your home clothes dryer to catch on fire? Simple—it’s the failure to clean out the lint filter and the vent pipe.

Cleaning out the dryer doesn’t have to cost you a lot. If you clean it regularly, you could prevent costly repairs to the dryer and your house!

Here are a few things you can do yourself to help prevent damage to your dryer and even a fire.

  • After each load, clean out the lint filter. Even if there’s very little lint visible, always wipe it clean. 
  • If you use fabric sheets, clean the lint screen with warm water and a nylon brush every six weeks to remove any buildup.
  • Clean out the lint vent pipe every three months with a hose brush and vacuum cleaner.
  • Check the venting exhaust tube for holes and tears in the tubing. If you notice warm air or humidity in the room where your dryer is located, there’s a good chance you have a damaged exhaust tube.
  • Check the hose clamps to ensure they are attached tightly.
  • Remove any clothing or items around your dryer that could burn. The area should be free of all items.
  • Check the dryer’s outdoor vent opening for bird, squirrel and mice nests. Also check the outside vent for lint blockage.
  • If you are planning to be away from your home for a long period, unplug or disconnect the dryer.

For step-by-step directions on how to clean your home dryer, please visit Angie’s List and watch the video. You can also visit the U.S. Fire Administration for more tips on preventing dryer fires and to download a fire-safety flyer.