What Causes Dryer Vent Fires?

What Causes Dryer Vent Fires?

Dryer vents are a commonly overlooked fire hazard in the home. When they are not cleaned regularly the risk of a fire increases substantially. Lint can easily build up inside the vent blocking airflow, plus, the dryer will work less efficiently.

Damage Caused By Unclean Dryer Vents

This is such a problem that the National Fire Prevention Association reported that a clothes dryer is responsible for nearly 17,000 house fires in North America each year. That’s approximately 4.5 percent of all house fires. Furthermore, these home fires caused by clothes dryers are costing upwards of $236 million in damaged property. They are also responsible for both injuries and in more severe cases – fatalities. 

The sad reality is, many homeowners are not aware of the serious risk behind having an unclean and the need to have their dryer vent professional cleaned at least annually. By removing a dangerous fire hazard, you reduce your risk of a house fire substantially. 

Causes of Dryer Vent Fires

A fire in a dryer vent requires three things: high heat, fresh air, and a fuel source. All of these elements for a home fire can be found in an uncleaned dryer vent. 

Lint slowly becomes trapped in the duct over time, and as the airflow inside the dryer vent becomes constricted the temperature increases. Ultimately, the stuck lint is able to easily ignite and case a home fire.

Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Your Clothes Dryer

While it’s important to have your dryer vent cleaned professionally at least once a year, there are some cleaning and maintenance steps you can take to reduce your risk between cleanings. 

Clean Out The Lint Trap

Sometimes the more obvious solution is an overlooked one. If you find that your dryer is not drying clothing efficiently check your lint trap! 

The lint trap should be thoroughly cleaned out after every use otherwise trapped lint can form a blockade between the heated air and the interior of the dryer. Additionally, have too much lint in your lint trap creates a potential fire hazard. 

dryer vent cleaning

Clean the Exterior and Interior of Your Dryer Thoroughly

It’s good practice to routinely clear the interior and exterior of your dryer. This means wiping down the machine to clean off dust and debris. Cleaning out of the inside of the machine from anything that may be trapped inside like old dryer sheets, socks, or anything else that could be flammable. 

It’s also a good idea to ensure the perimeter of the dryer is kept clear and ensure that nothing gets stuck underneath the clothes dryer. Small preventative steps like this can go a long way in regards to safety.  

Schedule a Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning

Having your dryer vent professionally cleaned will clean out any lint that is stuck inside and could potentially cause a fire. It will also enable your dryer to continue to do its job efficiently. When your clothes dryer is not running efficiently you are forced to run it longer to achieve the same level of drying. 

The more built up in your clothes dryer vent duct, the more at risk your home is for a fire. Instead of trying to DIY cleaning out your dryer vent, leave this difficult task to the professionals so you can rest assured it is done correctly. This way you can be sure that all of the lint has been removed. 

Taking the time to invest in the care of your clothes dryer and scheduling regular maintenance will go a long way to prevent dryer vent fires in your home. Give us a call to schedule a service appointment, our technicians are ready to come and inspect, maintain, repair, or clean your clothes dryer vent. 

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