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What Is A Dryer Fire, And How Do You Prevent It?

Posted on September 16, 2022

Dryer fires devastate thousands of homes a year, and you mustn’t let them happen to you. But what actually causes dryer fires? How do you stop them from devastating your home?

There are multiple risk factors to consider when evaluating whether or not a dryer fire is likely to happen to you. You need to consider what kind of dryer vent you have and many of the typical causes of dryer fires.

Electric vs. Gas Dryers

Electric and gas dryers both have different fire-related dangers. While electric clothes dryers are safer in some regards, they are at a higher risk of catching fire due to faulty wiring. They also get hotter than gas dryers.

Gas dryers, on the other hand, have gas lines. This means that, while they catch fire less, they can be very dangerous when they do catch fire. Take this into consideration before assuming your gas dryer is safe.

That’s an overview of dryer types, but what are the causes of dryer fires?

Dryer Malfunctions

Dryers can malfunction in several ways. Faulty wiring can create a spark that starts a fire. In a gas dryer, a gas line might leak.

A dryer may also have been improperly connected when it was installed. Make sure a professional installs your Irving home’s dryers.

Your vent can also become damaged, meaning improper venting of heat. Dirt, rain, and snow can leak through walls and damage your dryer or vent. Make sure any vent covering is opening as you dry, as well.

Improper Drying

Your drying habits may be putting you at risk of a fire. Don’t ever place flammable items near the dryer while it dries. Never run the dryer when you’re away. Make sure you fill the dryer appropriately and don’t overload. Only load dryer-safe items – no foam, rubber, plastic, fiberglass, or other materials. Finally, plastic or coiled-wire foil vents could be risky.


Pests in your Irving home’s dryer vents can clog it faster and prevent proper heat from escaping, leaving you at risk of a dryer fire. Birds sometimes build nests in dryer vents, and rats and insects love the cover that vents provide.

Many of these pests leave behind materials that can potentially be flammable. Cobwebs and rat fur can catch fire under the right circumstances. And bird’s nests provide potent kindling for a dryer fire.

Lint Buildup

Lint is a common source of kindling for dryer fires, and you need to be careful with it. Take all of the necessary lint-eliminating steps.

Make sure your lint filter works fine. Clean your lint filter every time you do laundry. Check the back of the dryer for lint buildup, and clean any back there. Clear out the vent pipe four times a year. Meticulously brush away lint in the lint trap twice every year. Hire a professional Irving duct cleaner] once a year. Never use a cloth or wire screen to cover the wall damper.

Preventative Measures

There are a few extra safety measures to highlight outside the specific circumstances mentioned above.

Always keep a fire extinguisher handy. This is an electrical fire, so do not pour water on your dryer if a fire starts.

Follow the manufacturer’s warnings. Find your dryer’s manual and learn what you need to do to prevent disaster.

A professional Irving dryer vent cleaning technician can clear everything of lint to lower your fire risk. Call us if you need dryer cleaning in Irving.

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