Fires at laundromats aren’t uncommon and it’s a concern that owners must make a priority in order to keep customers and employees safe. The risk of fire is hard to avoid when there is heavy machinery and electricity around, but taking precautions can help keep the risk to a minimum.
In this two part series we will take a look at how fires can start, from a simple electrical spark to spontaneous combustion as well as learn some tips for reducing the risk of fire. For quality laundromat equipment in Greensboro, NC, call T & L Laundry Equipment today!
As a business owner, you want to be able to keep your employees and customers safe but also ensure that your investment is protected.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there are over 15,000 dryer fires each year, with 10 injuries and deaths occurring. In addition, several hundred people are exposed to carbon monoxide due to improper dryer set ups. These are mostly in cases of residential equipment in homes, but the same dangers apply to equipment in laundromats because of larger equipment and more units.
Dryer fires occur because of a few things. Lint can build up and cause a reduction in air flow. Lint is highly combustible, so the mixture of hot air that can’t escape and a flammable material can equal a fire. If lint builds up in the trap and ends up being pushed into other places, such as the heating element or other areas of the dryer, it can pose a fire risk.
Having a poorly vented dryer can also cause fires. Again, when the air flow is restricted it poses the risk of fire. Sometimes vents are too long or have too many bends, which can result in lint build up. The materials you use to vent your dryer can also be a risk. Duct extenders that are lightweight plastic, foil or made of flammable materials will increase a risk of fire. Metal should be the only type of vent used.
Spacing issues can also cause fires, which is a concern that laundromat owners need to take into account. You never want to overcrowd an area with dryers or push them too close to the wall which can crush the venting system.
Older equipment can also be prone to fires. If it isn’t working properly, seems to take longer to complete a dry cycle, or has other issues, then maintenance or replacement may be necessary.
Another surprising cause of fire can be spontaneous combustion which can occur outside of the dryer. Some fabrics, like cotton, begin to decompose at a certain temperature and then begin to generate their own heat. Once removed from a dryer, if it is folded tightly or not allowed to cool down, it can begin to oxidize and if it reaches a certain temperature, it can burst into flames.
Stay tuned for the next post so you can learn how to prevent these fires from occurring. It is always better to take the proper precautions, especially when it comes to keeping your customers and employees safe, than be sorry later.
Affordable Laundromat Equipment in Greensboro, NC | T & L Laundry Equipment
Are you thinking about replacing the old commercial dryers in your laundromat? Call us at T & L. We’ve been in the business for 40 years, so we are the experts in new and used laundromat equipment in Greensboro, NC. We serve hospitality markets as well as many other industries in Greensboro, Charlotte, and Raleigh. Call us to today to see how we can help you establish or improve your on-site laundry facility.