According to data, there are an estimated 2,900 dryer fires each year in the United States, leading to about five deaths. Most of these fires are preventable. But unfortunately, many people do not know how to prevent them, sometimes requiring them to hire restoration specialists because of the damage.

If this occurs in your house and you don’t have insurance, you can be left with a hefty repair bill. In this article, we will discuss the real dangers of dryer fires and how to prevent them.

What Is a Dryer Lint?

Dryer lint is the accumulation of fabric fibers, hair, and other debris that builds up inside your dryer over time from your clothing. This lint can be a fire hazard if it is not removed from your dryer regularly.

There are two types of lint, such as:

  • Visible lint. Visible lint is the lint you can see when you open your dryer door.
  • Hidden lint. This is the lint that builds up inside the dryer vent, ductwork, and other areas where you cannot see it.

Hidden lint is a much bigger fire hazard than visible lint because it can easily catch fire and spread quickly.

How Does Lint Build Up?

Lint buildup can occur for a variety of reasons. One reason is that clothing made from synthetic materials like polyester or nylon sheds more fibers than natural materials like cotton. Another reason is that people often overload their dryers, leading to clothes taking longer to dry and giving the lint more time to build up.

How Does a Dryer Lint Fire Start?

A dryer lint fire typically starts when the lint builds up to the point where it blocks the airflow in the dryer vent. This causes the dryer to overheat, and the lint can catch fire.

The lint fire will then spread to the rest of the dryer, and if you fail to catch it quickly, it can spread to the rest of the house.

How Can I Prevent a Dryer Lint Fire?

The following are some measures you can take to prevent a dryer lint fire:

  • Clean your dryer regularly. This includes cleaning the lint trap after every load of laundry and cleaning the ductwork and vent annually.
  • Do not overload your dryer. Overloading it can cause clothes to take longer to dry and lead to lint buildup.
  • Make sure that there is no hidden lint buildup in your dryer. You can do this by having a professional clean your dryer annually.
  • Avoid using your dryer without the lint trap. The lint trap catches the lint, so it does not build up in the vent and ductwork.
  • Do not use a clothesline to dry your clothes. The sun will cause the fibers in your clothing to break down, leading to more lint.
  • If a fire occurs and causes damage to your house, call a professional restoration company like PuroClean. You can read more on them here.


Dryer fires can be dangerous, but they are preventable if you take the proper precautions. Make sure to clean your dryer regularly, do not overload it, and see that there is no hidden lint buildup. If you consider following these tips, you can help prevent a dryer fire in your home.