Beauty spas, restaurants and pubs urged to wash out tumble dryer fire risk oils

PUBLISHED: 10:39 19 June 2017

Beauty salons, pubs and restaurants are being urged to wash oils from towels and clothing to prevent a fire hazard in tumble dryers. PHOTO Pexels

Beauty salons, pubs and restaurants are being urged to wash oils from towels and clothing to prevent a fire hazard in tumble dryers. PHOTO Pexels

Archant

Beauty salons, spas, pubs and restaurants in the Fens are being urged to make sure oil residues are washed from clothes and towels before being placed into tumble dryers

The warning comes from the fire service amid a spate of fires where items were placed inside a tumble dryer where the heat caused the oils to combust, setting fire to the materials and causing a blaze inside the drum.

Fire chiefs say washing items at temperatures that are too low mean high risk oil residues are left behind.

In the most recent incident, crews were called to a dry cleaning business after towels from a spa were placed in an industrial dryer with oil residues on them, causing a fire inside the drum.

This follows a second incident earlier in the year, where towels from a spa were placed inside a dryer causing a fire.

Station commander Giles Grainger, fire protection manager of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the service have attended similar fires in pubs and restaurants where chefs whites, aprons, tea towels and clothes with cooking oil residues were placed in tumble dryers, which then caught fire in the heat.

A spokesman said: “Items such as towels that have been used in the beauty and spa industry can become contaminated with treatment oils.

“Washing them at low temperatures means these substances are not always completely removed.

“If the towels are then placed in a tumble dryer at high temperatures, they can overheat and catch fire.

“Whilst you have to adhere to the manufacturer�s recommendations when washing clothes and towels, it is important that they are washed at a temperature that is high enough to remove the oils from them before placing them into a tumble dryer.”�

• Safety tips include ensuring wash temperatures and detergents are suitable for the optimum removal of oil-based contaminants.

• Allow laundry to complete the cooling cycle in the tumble dryer.

• Shake out laundry to ventilate before folding.

• Ensure stack or pile is well ventilated.

• Make sure you have a smoke alarm on each floor of your premises and that it is test regularly.

• For safety advice on keeping kitchen appliances safe visit their website.

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