Clothes Dryers

Woman peering inside a dryer with laundry.

Maintaining Safety

Nobody expects something as routine as household laundry to end in disaster, but fires are a real danger when dryers are misused. By following the guidelines below, you can rest assured that you and your loved ones are always safe from this hazard.

Safe Power Sources

Don't take risks with power. Call for help if you need it.

  • Make sure your dryer has been installed or inspected by a professional.
  • If you have a gas dryer, make sure the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Make sure your dryer is properly grounded.
  • Always use the correct outlet provided for your laundry, and make sure the machine is connected properly.
  • An Installation Alteration Permit is required for all new dryer installations.
  • Once your installation is complete, Forest Hills will inspect it to ensure it has been done correctly.

Cleaning Lint

The leading cause of dryer-related fires is the accumulation of lint. Always keep your venting clean.

  • Make sure the lint filter is in place, every time you use the dryer.
  • Clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry.
  • Between uses, remove any lint that has collected around the drum.
  • Use metal venting and duct materials to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
  • Check to see if the outdoor vent flap opens when the dryer is running. Make sure it isn't covered with snow, leaves, or other materials.
  • Check to make sure your venting isn't clogged in any way. At least once a year, have a dryer-lint removal service clean your venting—or do it yourself:
    1. Empty The Lint Screen Start by emptying the lint screen just as you would after doing laundry.
    2. Unplug Your Dryer Never start cleaning a dryer vent while the dryer is still plugged in. Locate the outlet for your dryer and disconnect it before doing anything else.
    3. Use Care With Gas Dryers If you have a gas dryer, make sure you don't disconnect the gas from the supply valve. Instead, simply turn off the gas valve. If you are uncomfortable doing this, call a professional to do the cleaning.
    4. Move Your Dryer The dryer vent is behind the dryer. Pull your dryer away from the wall and detach the aluminum vent duct from the back of your dryer. Very large or heavy dryers may be difficult to move. If this is the case, you may need to hire a professional. Once moved, you can easily detach the vent duct from the back of the dryer.
    5. Vacuum Out the Vent Using your vacuum cleaner's nozzle attachment, vacuum the venting that runs to the outside, sticking the nozzle as far into the aluminum vent duct as it will reach. Then, vacuum out the vent opening on the back of the dryer using the same technique. If you do not have a vacuum cleaner, use a flexible dust brush with an extendable handle. You can also use compressed air to blow lint out of the dryer vent.
    6. Put Everything Back Together Reattach the dryer to the vent duct. Then, slide the dryer back into place. Plug the dryer back in. Your dryer should be ready to use, and you should notice an improvement in drying times.

Other Safety Tips

  • Follow all manufacturer’s operating instructions.
  • Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn—such as boxes, cleaning supplies, or clothing.
  • Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances—such as gasoline, paint thinner, or other solvents—should be laid outside to dry completely before they are washed and dried, as usual.
  • Don’t overload your dryer.
  • Always turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.

If you have any questions about maintaining your clothes dryer, please call us at 734-971-9270 or email


Installation Permit

If you need to install or replace a dryer, we will inspect your installation for safety. Our inspection should be scheduled for the same day as your installation.

Download a PDF of the Installation Alteration Permit  and return to our office prior to your installation date.

Enjoy this short video about cleaning lint from your dryer: MrLintGuy