Causes of Dryer Fires & How to Prevent Dryer Catching Fire?

When did you last clear the lint filter in your dryer? Hopefully, it was recent! What about the dryer duct or exhaust vent? Several factors could turn this everyday appliance into a potential hazard, with dryer fires being a significant cause of home fires annually. However, with some straightforward prevent dryer fire techniques, these incidents are easily preventable. Keep reading as we explore the primary reasons behind dryer fires and methods to avoid them!

Common Causes of Dryer Fires


Accumulated Lint and Blocked Ducts

The leading factor contributing to dryer fires is the accumulation of lint within the dryer and its exhaust duct. Failure to clean dryers regularly results in lint buildup, which obstructs airflow. Restricted airflow prolongs drying times, signalling a potential issue. Dryers typically feature operational thermostats, high-limit thermostats, and thermal fuses. The operational thermostat monitors the temperature of the air used for drying clothes. If the dryer vent is obstructed by lint or pinched, airflow diminishes, preventing the operational thermostat from accurately measuring the air temperature. Consequently, heat within the heater box escalates without adequate airflow until the high-limit thermostat is triggered.


Dryer Ventilation and Overloading Concerns

Significant risks arise when dryer vents fail to discharge air directly outside. Improper installations may lead to dryer exhaust being directed into confined spaces like the attic, crawl space, chimney, or interior walls, resulting in indoor air quality degradation and mould growth. If bulky items such as denim jeans or towels require extended drying times, or if clothes feel excessively hot after a cycle, it's likely due to a clogged dryer vent exhaust.

Operate the dryer according to its intended use, avoiding misuse. Certain materials are unsuitable for drying in a clothes dryer. Refer to product labels and washing/drying instructions to identify items that should not be dried in the dryer, such as certain plastics, rubbers, and synthetic foams.


Plastic and Bendable Dryer Ducts

Despite explicit warnings in dryer manuals from all manufacturers against using plastic or bendable ducts between the vent and the dryer due to fire risks, many households still utilise them.

Flexible vents are prone to twisting, enabling lint accumulation, which can ignite if exposed to significant heat. It's crucial to employ only flexible transition ducts endorsed by UL or another accredited product safety testing organisation.


How to Prevent Dryer-Catching Fire?

Here are some essential tips to help prevent dryer catching fires:

  • If clothes feel damp after a regular drying cycle, it's a sign of potential trouble. Before starting the next load, inspect for a blocked vent and remove any lint buildup.
  • Regardless of your laundry room's location, install a smoke detector on the ceiling above the dryer.
  • Avoid leaving the dryer unattended when leaving the house. Many devastating fires and pet fatalities result from unattended dryer use.
  • Never run the dryer overnight while you sleep. On average, over a dozen fatalities and hundreds of injuries occur annually due to dryer fires.
  • Clean the entire duct system at least twice a year to ensure optimal airflow.
  • Remember to clean the lint filter after each load.
  • Avoid overloading the dryer, as this can impede proper ventilation and increase fire risks.



Appliance Giant, with its commitment to quality and innovation, is well-positioned to address the challenges associated with preventing dryer fires. By offering advanced dryer models equipped with state-of-the-art safety features such as built-in lint detection systems, improved ventilation options, and integrated fire prevention technologies, Appliance Giant can significantly reduce the risk of dryer-related fires in households. Also, by providing comprehensive user manuals and online resources, they can educate consumers about proper maintenance practices and safe usage habits.