Clothes dryers can be a fire hazard if not maintained, says the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Dryers are the third-most common type of appliance that causes home fires. Here are tips to stay safe: Don't run your dryer without a lint filter. Clean the filter before and after each use. Make sure the air-exhaust vent pipe is unobstructed and the outdoor vent flap opens readily. Keep boxes, clothing and other combustibles away from the dryer.