How to Prevent Dryer Fires


Clothes dryers have become an important part of life, as convenience has overtaken the old-fashioned method of hanging clothes on a line. While safety standards have improved over the years, dryers still carry the risk of fire, as any appliance does.

What Causes Dryer Fires

Before you can prevent dryer fires, you need to understand what causes them. One of the major causes of dryer fires is a build-up of lint inside the lint trap, just behind the door (if it's front loading) and at the back of the unit.

Other causes include:

  • Putting inappropriate items in (backpacks, shoes, mats with rubber-backing)
  • Lack of maintenance
  • Keeping too many things on top of the dryer
  • Not enough ventilation
  • Drying at too high a temperature

How to Prevent Dryer Fires

There are several things you can do to help prevent dryer fires. These include:

  • Perform proper maintenance regularly – get it inspected by a professional if needed
  • Clean the lint trap after every use to prevent build-up
  • Make sure the room has plenty of ventilation and the dryer has a vent going outside
  • Don't put items in the dryer that shouldn't go in, such as foam-backed mats, backpacks or sports shoes. If in doubt, always check the washing instructions label on the item in question
  • Make sure the top of the dryer is clear of debris and clutter
  • Never leave the dryer on when you are not home

If a Fire does occur

Always have fire equipment on hand for emergencies, such as a fire extinguisher. Never use water to put out electrical fires. Ideally, you should have one extinguisher in your kitchen and one in your laundry room. Make sure you and your family members know how to use it.

Other Safety Tips

Regardless of the type of fire in your home, you and your family should have an escape plan. Make sure everyone understands how to call the fire department (even young children can learn this) and have a meeting place outside to ensure everyone is safe.

Never try to fight a fire if you feel it's too unsafe or you're unsure what to do. Get out and get help.

Preventing dryer fires means taking precautions and performing regular maintenance and check-ups on your dryer. It only takes a few minutes to clean out the lint trap and remove any debris or clutter from the top of the unit. These seemingly small steps can help prevent huge and disastrous fires in your home.


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Hello. My name is Dean and this is my home and garden blog. Last year, I decided I needed to improve the look of my home. I visited several home and garden centres and various different shops but I just couldn't find the items I wanted. I had this dream of creating a really cool and funky look based on an African design I had seen. My friend suggested that I customise the items to create the look I wanted and began to give me some lessons. I really enjoyed the process and I learnt a lot about how to improve your home and garden.