According to the United States Fire Administration, there are an estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings reported each year – which causes an estimated 5 deaths and $35 million in damages every year. And neglecting to clean dryer vents is the leading cause of these fires.
This is because of a material we all know and have in our dryers – lint. When lint passes through the filters in our dryers, they build up in the vents. Lint by itself is not harmful but it is extremely flammable, leaving residential houses with lint buildup in their vents extremely vulnerable to house fires.
So what should be done about it? The USFA recommends that people get their dryers and vents professionally cleaned at least once a year, more if the dryer is used more regularly. Regularly cleaning dryer vents ensures lint does not build up and that your dryers are always performing at their best. If you have noticed that your dryer is taking longer and longer times to complete a cycle and that your clothes often come out still damp, that could mean there is a blockage in your vents preventing air from getting into your dryer – most probably a lint blockage.