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Clothes dryer lint causes fire over the weekend

Clean lint traps before and after using the clothes dryer.

On Sunday, Feb. 9, after 11 p.m., crews responded to a working fire caused by overheated dryer lint that accumulated. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the fire caused extensive damage in the home estimating $190,000. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, one-third of home dryer fires are caused by built up lint.

Follow these simple safety tips to prevent a clothes dryer fire in your home.

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
  • Clean the lint filter before and after each cycle.
  • Do not forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up.
  • Check the venting system behind the dryer to make sure that it is not damaged, crushed or restricted.
  • Make sure that the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is operating.

Consider replacing plastic accordion-style ducts that connect the dryer to the vent with a flexible metal duct or a rigid metal duct. Lint can accumulate in the ridges over time and block the flow or air.

Also, always turn off the clothes dryer before going to bed or before leaving your home. If you are home when a fire starts, get out first and call 9-1-1.