Dryer Fires: Common Causes and Prevention Tips 

Dryer fires are a significant problem that may cause extensive property damage and put your family at risk. Identifying the most prevalent causes is crucial to preventing dryer fires and taking the appropriate precautions. This article discusses three frequent causes of dryer fires, eight tips for preventing dryer fires, the average lifespan of a dryer, and what to do if your dryer catches fire. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, dryers cause 92% of the approximately 15,970 residential fires a year. These flames can cause various injuries and millions of dollars worth of property damage. Failing to clean and execute basic maintenance is one of the top causes of dryer fires, accounting for 31% of such incidents.  

Three Common Causes of Dryer Fires 

  1. Lint accumulation is one of the most prevalent causes of dryer fires. Lint is formed while your clothes dry and can gather in the lint trap, dryer vent, and dryer itself. If this lint is not removed correctly, it might easily catch fire. 

  2. If your dryer vent is obstructed, your dryer might overheat and catch fire. This can be caused by many factors, such as lint buildup, bird nests, or even tiny animals trapped in the vent. 

  3. Dryer malfunction: Occasionally, dryer fires are triggered by a defective dryer. This might result from a faulty heating element, a broken thermostat, or other internal component faults. 

Eight Tips on How to Prevent Dryer Fires 

To keep your home and family safe, you must maintain your dryer regularly and keep fires from starting. Here are eight tips that can help you prevent dryer fires: 

  1. Clean the lint trap before every load: Cleaning the lint trap before every load is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stop dryer fires. This will help keep the dryer from getting too full of lint and starting a fire. 

  2. Clean the dryer vent regularly: Along with cleaning the lint trap, it's essential to clean the vent regularly to prevent clogs and lower the risk of a dryer fire. A professional dryer vent cleaning service, like Koala Duct Cleaning, can help ensure your dryer vent is clean and working well. 

  3. Put only a little in the dryer. If you do, it will have to work harder and could overheat, which increases the chance of a dryer fire. Make sure to follow the instructions from the dryer's maker about how many clothes you can put in at once. 

  4. Don't dry things that have been in contact with flammable substances. For example, you shouldn't dry clothes that have been in contact with gasoline or cleaning chemicals. These things can catch fire and start a fire in the dryer. 

  5. Check the dryer often. If you check your dryer often, you can find problems before they worsen. Look for damage or signs of wear and tear; if you see any, have a professional service technician look at the dryer. 

  6. Replace dryers that are old or broken. If your dryer is old or has obvious signs of damage, you should get a new one as soon as possible to lower the chance of a dryer fire. 

  7. Use a dryer vent made of metal. Dryer vents made of plastic or easily flammable materials can quickly catch fire. Use a metal dryer vent to lower the chance of a dryer fire. 

  8. Keep flammable things away from the dryer: To lower the fire risk, you should keep things like cleaning supplies away from the dryer. 

By using these tips, you can help keep your home and family safe from dryer fires. If you're worried about your dryer's safety, you should talk to a professional service tech. 

How Long Do Dryers Last? 

Dryers have an expected lifespan of around 13 years, on average. On the other hand, this might change based on factors like how frequently the dryer is used and how well it is maintained. Following the manufacturer's maintenance and care instructions is key to estimating your dryer's lifespan. 

If your dryer is getting to the age where it is starting to show symptoms of wear and tear, or if it is more than ten years old, you should consider getting a new one because this will aid in lowering the likelihood of your dryer catching fire and ensuring that it is operating as effectively as possible. 

What to Do If Your Dryer Catches Fire: 

If your dryer catches fire, it's essential to take immediate action to prevent it from spreading. Follow these steps to extinguish the fire safely: 

  1. The first thing you need to do is switch off the dryer, which is the first step. You will be able to safely escape the area as a result of this measure, which will assist in stopping the fire from spreading. 

  2. The area must be evacuated: As soon as the dryer is turned off, everyone must leave the area. This will significantly assist in ensuring that you and your family are protected from potential dangers. 

  3. Dial 911: Once you have safely escaped the area, dial 911 to report the fire. The firefighters will be able to put out the fire in a controlled manner while also preventing it from spreading. 

  4. Unplug the dryer: As soon as the fire has been put out, it is critical to unplug the dryer to avoid any more harm. 


Dryer fires are a big problem that can damage your home and put your family in danger. Knowing what often causes dryer fires and taking the proper safety steps can help keep your family safe and stop dryer fires. By regularly checking your dryer and cleaning the lint trap and vent, you can lower the chance of a dryer fire.  

Hire a Koala Duct Cleaner professional to clean your dryer vent. You will only get the best customer service and we work quickly, show up on time, and give honest service to help you improve the air quality in your home.