You don't need another reminder that excess dryer lint causes thousands of house fires each year. For that reason, you regularly remove lint from the filter and vacuum inside the appliance (especially near the motor and heating element). That said, if you forget to inspect the dryer vent—the channel that exhausts hot air to the outdoors—you're taking on unnecessarily enhanced risk. The best course of action: Make vent cleaning part of your regular outdoor maintenance routine. Start by disconnecting the exhaust duct from the dryer. Next, head outdoors. Once you have located the vent termination, remove the vent cap if necessary, then spend a few minutes clearing the vent with a vacuum and brush.