Laundry Fires: Causes and Prevention’s
For those who have businesses in the hospitality or leisure industry, the amount of laundry that is generated can be staggering. Whether you have a restaurant, gym, hotel, organise events or another type of hospitality, there are many considerations that you should be making when it comes to laundry; where to store it when it is both soiled and clean, who will clean it and how, as well as quality control and many other factors.
Preventing laundry fires
One thing that many managers or owners often overlook is reducing the possibility of laundry fires. We are finding that laundry fires are becoming increasingly commonplace in the leisure and hospitality industry and can cause up to thousands of pounds in damages to both property and assets as well as the potential for injury or even death of staff and guests.
This is why the possibility of laundry fires cannot be overlooked. Businesses need to be aware of how to reduce the risk of one occurring in their establishment.
What causes a laundry fire?
Laundry fires are most often caused by the reaction of chemicals and oil with heat. When heat rises through a pile of laundry, it can react with oils or other substances on other pieces of laundry such as aprons, tea towels, table cloths or napkins and cause spontaneous combustion. This means that restaurants and hotels are at greater risk of laundry fires than many other businesses.
How to prevent laundry fires
Whilst it is virtually impossible to completely take out the risk of a laundry fire in an establishment which uses linen, there are several steps that can be taken to help to reduce the risk:
- Wash cotton laundry at the right temperature by checking the ideal temperature for each fabric and washing each one accordingly. This not only means that the fabric will last longer and look great for longer but also reduces the risk of a laundry fire occurring.
- Use the cool-down cycle of the dryer to ensure that all of the linen and fabric is cool when it leaves the dryer thus helping to prevent the transfer of heat and ultimately the risk of fire.
- Avoid leaving your laundry in large stacks or piles as this is where the heat can easily transfer and then combine with oils and other substances which can cause a fire.
- Avoid leaving damp items in a warm or hot dryer as this can trap the heat and make a fire more likely.
- Once your laundry is dried, allow time for the heat to evaporate before you fold or store it. By ensuring that your laundry is completely cooled you cut the chance of a laundry fire.
- Once that the drying cycle is finished never leave large loads inside the dryer. Get the laundry out as quickly as possible and air it so that it cools down straight away, therefore reducing the risk of the transfer of heat that can cause laundry fires.
The steps that you can take to reduce the chance of laundry fires are straightforward and logical but are often overlooked. By being aware of potential issues, hospitality managers or establishment owners can reduce the risks of a laundry fire.
Our experience in the hospitality industry is a valuable resource when we are helping businesses to secure the right insurance for them. If you work in the leisure or hospitality industry and are looking for more information about the prevention of laundry fires or help with your insurance policies, why not get in touch with us today for more information about how we can help you.