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The U.S. Fire Administration reports that 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported every year with the leading cause failure to clean the dryer. Since most of these fires can be prevented by cleanings, Neighborhood Code officers are advising residents to regularly clean their dryer vents.

You should always clean out the lint filter after each load of laundry. While this simple step addresses much of the danger associated with dryers, some lint will still be trapped in ductwork, which over time restricts airflow and causes dryers to work less efficiently. 

If you notice that clothes are not drying as quickly or they feel unusually hot, a more thorough  cleaning may be needed. You may be able to do this on your own, or you could hire a professional to assist you. If you do it on your own, you need a dryer vent brush cleaning set that can be purchased at any local hardware store. You should clean all your dryer vents and hose at least one to two times a year by following the instructions on the vent brush cleaning set.

For more information about how to maintain your dryer and prevent house fires, visit the U.S. Fire Administration