Dryer Fire Prevention

Dryer fires occur most frequently during the winter months. What better time to discuss prevention of such disasters? According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), nearly three thousand dryer fires are reported each year. The resulting damage includes property loss, injury, and sometimes death.


The leading cause of dryer fires is inadequate cleaning, namely lint. Every time you use your dryer, lint is accumulating. As lint builds up in your exhaust system, the dryer is working increasingly to dry your clothes. Eventually, the lint can make its way to the heating element and this often results in a fire.

As is true with all electrical machinery, damaged wiring can cause fire. Electrical fires can be a result of loose connections at electrical terminals and the connection point of the cord and outlet.

Using a clothing dryer in a way that does not comply with the manufacturer’s guidelines can wreak havoc as well. Overloading or including items that are not dryer safe can cause a fire. When you overload a dryer, you’re contributing to lint buildup at a faster rate. Drying items including plastic, rubber, or foam could present a fire risk. Items soiled with oils or flammable liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, paint thinner or rubbing alcohol can spell disaster.


To ensure that your dryer is in working order from the start, have it installed by a professional. You should routinely check that the dryer is connected properly and that the electrical plug and outlet are fitting well.

Regular cleaning and disposal of lint are incredibly important. You should remove lint from the filter before and after each load. Sometimes lint can build in the back of the dryer so don’t forget to clean this area as well. To prevent the lint filter from being clogged with residual lint, scrub it with a nylon brush every few months. Check the vent pipe for lint as well every three months or so and clean it thoroughly to reduce risk of lint reaching the heating element. Do not overload your washer or include items that are unsafe to dry.

Warning Signs

If your lint filter is damaged or missing, it is not safe to use the dryer. Any dryer dysfunction should be investigated by a professional to reduce risk of fire. If you notice that your clothes are taking longer than normal to dry, it’s necessary to call an appliance repair service and clean and inspect the unit. Signs of wiring problems, such as loose connections or hot wires should be checked out by a professional as well.

How Professionals Can Help

At Appliance Repair Services, our technicians are well trained, licensed, and insured to diagnose and fix your dryer. We take the risks of dryer fires very seriously and will make sure that your unit is working correctly to mitigate the risks. We provide prompt and professional service at affordable prices to customers in the Northern Virginia area of Prince William County and Fairfax County. Give us a call today at 703-459-3595.