--The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them.
--Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
--Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
--Make sure you clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
--Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
--Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
--Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
--Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
--Follow the manufacurer's operating instructions and don't overload your dryer.
--Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
AND DON'T FORGET...
--Dryers should be properly grounded
--Check the outdoor vent flap to make sure it is not covered by snow.
--Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies, and clothing, etc..
--Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances, like gasoline, paint thinner, or similar solvents should be laid outside to dry, then can be washed and dried as usual.
All information is referenced from the NFPA Public Education Division. To view this site got to www.nfpa.org/education or click above on Department, then Fire Department, then Useful Links, and then National Fire Protection Agency.