Can Lint Traps Really Cause Fires?

November 18, 2022 Published by Leave your thoughts

You might have heard some news that you believe is a myth about dryer lint. For example, maybe someone has recently told you that dryer lint can cause a fire. This piece will explore that concept and explain whether it is a myth or a genuine threat of which you should remain aware:

Why Dryer Lint Is Dangerous

You might be surprised to know that dryer lint is highly dangerous. The United States Fire Administration reports more than 2,900 fires each year that begin in the dryer. These fires ignited when accumulated lint came in contact with the dryer’s extreme heat. The result was catastrophic. Firefighters were able to contain some of the fires, but many of them expanded and extended throughout the homes. 

Can Dryer Lint Start a Fire?

The myth that you heard about dryer lint was not a myth at all. The answer is that, yes, dryer lint can start a fire. Heat builds up as air blows through the ductwork, bringing the lint to its ignition point. 

Another unrelated issue that causes fires is when individuals wash towels saturated with combustible materials. The laundry detergent isn’t always effective at getting rid of these liquids. Therefore, they ignite when the dryer reaches its hottest levels.  

Signs of Lint Buildup

These are some of the signs that your dryer has too much lint built up within its system:

Clothes Don’t Dry All the Way

One sign that you may have an overload of lint is when your clothes don’t dry. It’s likely true if you get the same result, no matter how long you dry your attire or how few clothes you put in the dryer. 

You Smell a Burnt Smell

You most likely have a lint buildup if you smell a burning smell, which means something is most likely genuinely burning. 

The Dryer Is Hot

Check for excessive lint if your dryer seems hot to the touch. It means the dryer is working overtime and is getting hotter and hotter as it tries to dry the clothes despite the current issues. 

How To Prevent Dryer Lint From Starting a Fire

Fortunately, you can take several steps to prevent a fire from igniting in your dryer. These are some of the things you can do:

Clean the Lint Frequently

You should clean the lint from the trap every time you wash clothes. Don’t wait to go through several drying cycles because it becomes more of a hazard each time.

Throw Away Your Dryer Sheets

Throw away those dryer sheets each time you use the dryer. People tend to forget them and leave them in there, but they can clog the dryer and cause a hazard. 

Avoid Drying Clothes With Flammable Chemicals

Do not place clothes or materials in the dryer if they have flammable chemicals in them. You will be asking for trouble if you do so. Instead, handwash those items and allow them to air dry. 

Now you know the answer to one of the oldest "myths" in the book, and you know how to keep your lint cleaner for dryer safety. Use the tips mentioned above, and you can have peace of mind about operating your dryer safely. 

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