Prevent A Dryer Fire From Destroying Your Home

Updated: 04/08/2013 6:03 PM KSTP.com By: Ellen McNamara

If it has been awhile since you had your dryer vents cleaned, you run the risk of having a dryer fire start.

In today's Angie's List report, we explain how you can prevent the worst from happening.

A clogged dryer vent is something Glen Mayfield sees on a regular basis.

"We see 15, 20, 25 ft. vents all the time," Mayfield said. "The longer the vent, the harder it is for the dryer to get the lint out."

Lint build-up often causes a fire.

Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, says many times, the fire starts when no one is at home.

"According to experts, 15,000 home fires a year are a result of dryers being left unattended," Hicks said.

So how can you prevent a fire? Mayfield says it is not difficult to figure out that your vent is clogged.

"If it takes more than one regular cycle for the dryer to dry, then that's a sign that the vent might be clogged up," Mayfield said.

Brian Pinkins knew his dryer was not working properly, and called an expert.

"He (repairman) said he could feel a large jam, five minutes later, a whole lot of dust and debris started coming out along with a birds nest," Pinkins said.

Pinkins is pleased he called a professional.

"I'm sure it's just a matter of time before something would have really happened," Pinkins said.

Dryer vent cleaning is relatively inexpensive considering what it can prevent.

A cleaning typically costs between $100 and $150.