Running a hotel or commercial laundry business is stressful enough with factors such as profitability, customer service and energy costs all potentially causing a headache. But whilst none of these issues are deadly, fires are a very real threat that looms over any business, despite the fact they are very rare.
In just a couple of months, five hotels in the UK have been hit by devastating fires.
One of the main causes of these fires appears to be due to the presence of essential oils in towels and robes used at spas. If these oils are not washed out properly, the residue remains on the wet towels when they go from washer to dryer.
Once the water has evaporated, the towels warm up and the oils react with the oxygen in the drying airstream to give off heat. This reaction continues when the towels are eventually folded and stacked where heat continues to build up, eventually leading to the stack igniting because the temperature has increased to such a degree.
Here are some simple ways laundry fires can be prevented at your business:
- Clean lint filters and dryers weekly
All tumble dryers and washers contain a lint filter and the lint captured within this can easily be disposed of. Lint caught in a machine can cause overheating by considerably slowing down the drying action. Removing lint and disposing of it adequately will maintain proper airflow and better efficiency in the dryer. You should also make sure you inspect lint filters closely on a regular basis to ensure they aren’t damaged or torn – if they are, they need replacing straight away. It’s also important to clean dryers regularly by vacuuming them to remove any stray lint.
- The importance of servicing
Another key way in which you can help prevent fires at your laundry is to ensure your equipment is regularly checked by an approved industry professional. By investing in commercial equipment, this worry becomes a thing of the past because servicing is often included in the package.
- Invest in the most effective laundry technology
The most common items to set fire within laundry rooms are spa towels and robes, tea towels, chef whites, table cloths and napkins, because they tend to contain oil.
With this in mind, it’s vital you wash oily stained towels and linens using the most effective laundry technology possible. High volumes of oily work can be addressed with modern emulsifier technology. Low volumes can be rendered safe using properly equipped machines, such as the Hydrofinity machine fitted with the XorbsTM .