Dryer-Vent fires in residential buildings account for 2,900 fires
• An estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential homes were reported to the U.S. fire departments each year and caused an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
• Clothes dryer fires in residential buildings were higher in the fall and winter months, peaking in January to 11%.
• Failure to clean (34percent) was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires.
• Dust, fiber, and lint (28 percent) were by far the leading items first ignited in your dryer-vent.
"The How's and Why's of Dryer Fires"
A dryer works by forcing hot air through a turning drum. Wet clothes placed in your dryer are then dried by moving hot air. It is possible for the wet clothes to contain as much as one and a half gallons of water. Lint, consistently of small fibers from the clothes and debris in or on the clothes, is created from the clothes as they tumble in the drum. While much of the lint is trapped in the filter, lint is also carried through the vent system that is only 4" in diameter along with the moist air. The lint becomes highly combustible as it sticks to the walls of the vent like glue. The accumulating lint leads to reduced airflow and therefore poses a fire hazard. Also, birds and other animals could be blocking the vent as well only making the problem worse.