Clothes Dryer Lint Causes Clothes Dryer Fires

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an estimated annual 15,500 fires, 10 deaths and 10 injuries due to clothes dryer fires. Clothes dryer lint is very combustible, clothes dryer fires are usually caused by lint build up in the dryer duct.

Some clothes dryer ducts or hoses are made of plastic or aluminum, those materials can contribute to the accumulation of lint and a dangerous situation. Most states now require dryer ducts or venting pipe to be metal.

A less dangerous clothes dryer problem, and more common problem is when the clothes dryer is not drying clothes. The lint buildup in the clothes dryer duct and vent results in slow drying. You may have to run clothes through the drying cycle much longer, and this increases the cost per load. You may think by cleaning the filter you have prevented the lint problem, but lint gets by the filter with each load, and builds up in the clothes dryer duct and vent.

According to the report, Clothes Dryer Fires in Residential Buildings, by the USFA’s National Fire Data Center: Eighty percent of clothes dryer fires in structures occur in residential buildings, and “failure to clean” the lint build up is the leading factor contributing to clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.

Tips for safer clothes drying:

1. Clothes dryer ducts should be made of a solid metallic material. Vinyl and foil dryer ducts are combustible and the uneven surface contributes to lint building up in the duct.
2. Always vent the dryer duct to the exterior wall and do not vent the duct in the attic or crawlspace.
3. Check the outside dryer vent while the dryer is running to make sure the hot exhaust air is escaping. If you do not feel the hot air, there may be dangerous lint build.
4. Do not run your clothes dryer when you are not at home or while you are asleep.
5. Be sure to read manufacturers’ instructions regarding the safe use of their dryers.
6. Clean your clothes dryer ducts and clothes dryer vents every year to prevent lint buildup.

In summary, to minimize the risk of clothes dryer fires, replace plastic or foil ducts, and have clothes dryer ducts and vents cleaned annually.

To schedule an appointment to have your dryer vent cleaned contact out office @ (413) 569-5554.