Can clothes dryers really catch fire?

If you are in the habit of operating your clothes dryer while you are out of the house, you could someday suffer a fire that goes unnoticed and does severe damage to your home. The fire can start with an equipment malfunction. It can grow rapidly when there is a build-up of lint under the dryer and in the exhaust duct and be fed by the combustible clothes in the dryer. In fact, lint is the number one cause of dryer fires in the United States.

To reduce your risk of a dryer fire, operate your clothes dryer only when you are home and keep the area under your dryer and your dryer’s exhaust hose free of lint build up. The equipment you need to clean these two areas, a long, thin brush specifically designed to reach these areas, isn’t expensive or difficult to find. They are available at most hardware and big box do-it-yourself stores. Clean the exhaust duct and underside of your dryer at least once a year. Clean your link filter after every use.

Take the time. It’s worth it.