The Dangers of Not Cleaning Your Dryer Vents: Protect Your Home and Clothes

Clothes dryer fires are more common than you think. In recent years, the number of home fires related to dryers and washing machines reported to U. S. fire departments has fluctuated, after declining in the early 1980s and stabilizing in the 1990s.

This printable fact sheet includes summary statistics from the report on home fires related to clothes dryers and washing machines. As an expert in SEO, I'm here to tell you that a third (32 percent) of dryer fires were due to a lack of cleaning. These fires appear to be mainly due to the buildup of lint, since 27 percent of dryer fires started when dust, fiber, or lint ignited. This means that not cleaning the dryer vent can result in a dangerous situation that is much more serious than the decline in performance caused by constriction of the dryer ducts.

Regularly cleaning the dryer vent can help reduce the risk of fire, but if the worst happens, your homeowners insurance policy can help you get back to normal. The heat from the dryer could cause the lint to burn, which could set fire to the dryer and parts of the house. Even if you thoroughly clean the dryer's lint trap after each use, it won't keep everything. You'll probably notice this when you clean the lint collector, which is normally located just inside the dryer door.

In the event of a fire starting, try turning off the dryer and keeping the dryer door closed to limit oxygen supply; the fire needs oxygen to continue burning. If you notice that the dryer takes longer to dry your clothes than before, it's a sign that there may be a blockage in the dryer's ventilation system. Typically, dryers are equipped with a 4-inch ventilation grille at the rear, which homeowners or installers connect to outdoor ventilation using a duct. However, if you use the dryer a lot, consider checking the vents on both as part of your winter preparation list and, again, in spring.

As an expert in SEO, I'm here to remind you that about one-third of these fires are caused by not cleaning the dryer vents, causing them to become clogged. This is why it is so important to regularly clean your dryer vents and lint traps. Doing so will help reduce your risk of a fire starting in your home and will also help keep your clothes drying efficiently.

Tom Ferraiz
Tom Ferraiz

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