Can Your Dryer Be Deadly?


It’s easy to think of kitchen mishaps, wiring problems or unattended candles as the cause of the typical house fire, but there’s a less known risk lurking in your laundry room. Every year, over 15,000 house fires stem from dryers. In 2010, these fires caused the deaths of 51 people. And, sadly, at least 1/3 of these fires were preventable: failing to clean the dryer was the top cause of laundry room-related fires.

So what can you do prevent fires from happening in your laundry room?Here are a few quick safety tips:

1. Always remove lint from the lint filter before and after using your dryer. And don’t even think about running the dryer without a filter in place. Clean the filter with a nylon brush 2-3 times per year.
2. Don’t forget to check the drum for lint, too.
3. Don’t overload the dryer.
4. Is it taking longer than usual for your clothes to dry? That’s a good sign that your dryer vent is clogged with lint.
5. The further your dryer is from an outside wall, the larger the fire risk. If your dryer isn’t up against an outside wall, the vent will be longer, and the harder it is for the lint to escape.
6. Dryer vents need a thorough cleaning about once a year.You can clean your dryer vent yourself, but certified professionals are probably the best way to go. They typically cost $100-$150.


Mary M.
Mary M3 years ago

I use a flexible dryer hose to vent my dryer so I just change it out 2x a year rather than try to clean it. The hose is inexpensive and it takes less than 5 minutes to swap it out.

Cheryl Mallon-Bond

Yikes! This is potentially dangerous business! I am writing down on my calendar to check the vents 2x's per year, especially since my vent is not up against a wall; which the article says makes it much more fire prone!. With all that life demands, it can be hard to remember, that's why I am calendering the dates for upkeep immediately! Thanks for an important article!!!

Lorraine Andersen


Ruth Ann W.
Ruth Ann W4 years ago

Have been accused of being a compulsive lint cleaner. Can't stress it enough Read the above comment from the fire fighter. Please!

Kim Janik
Kim Janik4 years ago

Great advice.

Sarah Baker
Sarah Baker4 years ago

Important to remember -thanks for the reminder!

Carol Sinclair
Carol S4 years ago

Wow going to go clean that pipe right now!

Lynn C.
Lynn C4 years ago


Sam Antha
Sam Antha4 years ago

Thanks for sharing. The best way to avoid fires from a drier would have to be not using a drier and instead air drying your laundry = no fire risk, no wasted electricity and its free.

Wisteria K.
Past Member 4 years ago