A fire at a mobile home in Dubuque was caused by lint in the dryer exhaust, according to fire officials. The blaze happened at around 2:25 a.m. Thursday at 1289 Praire Du Chein Drive. Crews were on the scene for nearly an hour.

Officials say the homeowner woke up to the sound of smoke detectors going off. He was able to gather his family and escape safely. No one was injured. It should serve as a reminder of how much of a safety hazard your dryer vent can be.

How do you know if your dryer vent is clogged up? Chances are if you think your dryer isn't working properly it could be the vent. If it is taking multiple cycles to get clothes dry, you may want to check and see if your vent is clogged. It is a simple process to clean it out, and it could save you energy and stop a potential fire hazard.

  • Locate your vent. In most dryers, it is a short, 4-inch diameter exhaust. It is connected to ductwork inside the wall that eventually leads to an opening on the outside of your house.
  • Now that you know where the vent is, unplug your dryer. Remove any clamps keeping the dryer vent pipe to the exhaust. Gently pull the pipe away from the duct wall.
  • At this point, you should have full access the dryer duct opening. Clean out all the excess lint and debris. You can get kits to help you do this, or make a long brush yourself. Make sure and check the exit vent outside your home for any blockage on that end. Clean things up good and reconnect your dryer.

Try using your dryer and see if the performance has improved. Chances are it has. Plus, you've eliminated a fire hazard.

 

[via CBS2, CNET]