Ajax Fire and Emergency Services is reminding residents that fires originating in clothes dryers can happen.

Dryer vents that are obstructed is the leading cause of dryer fires. Most people are aware that they need to clean the lint screen after every use; however, the exhaust vent pipe must also be maintained. Clean lint out of the vent pipe quarterly. At this time of year, it is also important to clear away anything, such as snow or ice that is blocking the vent. Make sure the vent pipe is not pinched or clogged and that the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. It is also imperative that your dryer is installed according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used. Make sure the right plug and wall outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly. Keep dryers in good working order and don’t overload them.


“It’s important to remove the lint from the screen after each use but keep in mind, that it only traps about 25%. You also have to clean out the dryer vent pipe. You can do this with a shop vac or hire a company to clean it for you. If you notice your drying times have increased or your clothes are still damp, that could indicate that there’s a blockage. It’s also very important to only use your dryer when you are home and awake. We’d never leave the oven on when we’re out or asleep and a dryer is also a large appliance that can be a major heat source and potential fire hazard”. - Shelley Langer, Fire Prevention Inspector, Town of Ajax

Quick Tips

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Clean out the dryer’s lint filter before each use.
  • Remove the lint that has collected around the drum.
  • Wash and rinse the lint screen regularly to remove product build up. 

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