BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A little after 1:30 a.m. on Monday, March 6, a fire alarm went off on the campus of Southern University. Firefighters arrived at Camille Stivers Shade Hall and found some light smoke on the first floor. Further investigation found the source to be a dryer with some burnt wires and lint, according to the Baton Rouge Fire Department.

BRFD said they respond to dryer fires from time to time and recommend that you clean the lint trap after every use. Zack Schexnider, the owner of DuctServ Heating and Cooling, recommended that you do that and more in order to prevent a fire.

Schexnider said that lint can back up in your dryer vent and potentially lead to a fire. The local business owner said you should have the vent cleaned every year because the lint can accumulate and prevent hot air from getting out through the exhaust vent.

Before getting to the exhaust vent, air passes through the clothes and goes across the lint screen. From there, Schexnider explained that air goes out of the dryer, through the flex duct that connects to a wall and then there is a hard galvanized pipe that leads to the outside. The exhaust vent should have a flap on it that moves when the dryer is in use.

Schexnider emphasized that homeowners should make sure the flap is properly attached in order to prevent birds from building a nest in the vent. Along with the accumulation of lint, birds building nests can lead to blockage, according to Schexnider.

If there is a blockage, Schexnider said lint can build up and combine that with hot air and fire can ignite in the dryer. The National Fire Protection Agency provided some dryer safety tips in order to prevent that from happening.

Courtesy of NFPA