How does a dryer work? Hot air is blown through a rotating drum of wet clothing gently drying the clothes. As water evaporates from the clothing, it forms water vapor. Naturally, this water vapor needs to escape out of the dryer and will do this through an attached vent, this is usually made of bendable plastic or metal duct designed to be flexible enough to fit behind the machine and vent out of the building. It is not just water vapor that comes from drying clothes, lint also comes off the clothing and must exit the dryer through the vent.
When does a dryer become a fire hazard? If the vent is not attached to the dryer it runs the risk of overheating. This is because water vapor will not be able to escape and lint, which is highly flammable, will start to accumulate in the machine. These factors can result in the dryer bursting into flames.
It's important to make sure that the vent is always attached to the machine and is reaching to the outside. Because washers and dryer are generally stored in tight spaces, take some time to do a check of the back of the dryer to check the vent is in good shape and has not become crushed or developed kinks in it that could impede airflow. Another vital step is to empty the lint collector after each use.