According to the National Fire Protection Agency U. S. Fire departments responded to 15,970 fires during the years of 2010-2014.  On average about 4,000 home fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, over 100 injuries and about million dollars in property loss.

Some of these home fires are caused by an accumulation of lint in your exhaust vent. Dryer lint is the accumulation of clothing fibers and other textiles in the vent screen and exhaust vent.  These fibers collect and form a wad of “fluff”.  Cleaning the “fluff” in your  lint screen after each dryer use aids the flow of air out of the exhaust ductwork vent for more efficient operation.  When you relieve the amount of pressure required to force the lint out the exhaust ductwork vent you decrease the overall wear and tear on your dryer.  The result is fewer appliance repairs and a longer dryer life expectancy.

The lint screen is not the only area that you should be concerned about.  Many dryers have a flexible exhaust vent (some refer to it as a lint trap) at the back of the dryer which connects to thevent going to the outside.  This flexible exhaust vent should be thoroughly cleaned with a circular brush designed for this purpose.  You will also need to clean the exhaust vent the full distance it travels to the outside with the brush as well.  

It is recommended that you have your dryer and exhaust vent inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once a year.  If you have a large family that uses the dryer often you may want to consider increasing your frequency to every six months.