According to the National Fire Protection Association washers and dryers accounted for 16,800 house fires in 2010. 32% of these fires were determined to be caused by the lack of cleaning- that's 5,376 totally preventable house fires! Lint can build up inside the vent pipe running outdoors as well as in the dryer itself. If this is not cleaned, the heat produced by the dryer can ignite the buildup. In fact, some survival experts recommend carrying cotten dryer lint with you to use as a fire starter. In most cases it doesn't take long to clean the length of pipe or even replace it.
Many homes have "foil" duct going from the dryer to the wall (or further), however this is no longer the best option for ducting a dryer. It has many large ridges that trap lint and allow it to accumulate. It is also made of thin foil making cleaning difficult to do without damaging it. Other options to consider are either "semi-rigid" or "solid" ducting. Semi-Rigid duct is better than the foil because it has smaller ridges that do not hold the lint like the foil, and it is made of thicker metal which makes it easier to clean. Best practice is to use solid ducting wherever possible. Solid duct does not have any ridges within the duct, and allow the lint to freely pass through. Solid duct is also easy to clean without damaging it.
Lint buildup not only occurs in the vent pipe but it also can accumulate inside the dryer itself. Though most of the lint is channeled out through the vent pipe, a small amount can work itself around the screen and internal ducting within the dryer and cause a buildup.
All cases of buildup not only pose a fire hazard they also make your dryer work harder than it needs to, therefore wasting electricity and shortening the life of the dryer.
Don't become part of the statistics! I can clean or replace your duct work to keep you and your family safe.