Preventing Dryer Fires

Thousands of house fires are started each year by clothes dryers clogged with lint. Consumer Reports just tested the Lint Lizard, an infomercial product, to see if it can help reduce a fire risk.

The Lint Lizard attaches to your vacuum cleaner. You thread the tube through the opening of a dryer's lint trap.

Bernie Deitrick checked to see how much lint it could remove from the dryer.

Deitrick says, "The Lint Lizard worked really well. It removed more lint than any other technique that we tried."

But one drawback-the Lint Lizard may not fit easily into very narrow dryer openings. And it sharp tip could damage flexible foil or plastic ductwork. However, Consumer Reports doesn't recommend these kinds of ducts anyway.

Deitrick says, "It can sag like this, collect lint, and cause problems with venting your dryer."

Consumer Reports says metal ducts are far better-either flexible or solid. You want to clean those at least once a year. And clean your lint trap every time you use the dryer. Taking these precautions can help prevent a tragedy.

The Lint Lizard costs $10.99 plus shipping an handling at the company's

You can get it for less at major retailers, including Walmart, Target, and

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