Assisted living facility laundry room fires are an unfortunate and dangerous reality. Out of the estimated 2,620 fires in nursing facilities each year, 7% are caused by clothes dryers. Learn what causes these fires, ways to prevent them, and how Fire Systems, Inc. can help.

Common Causes of Fire

Laundry room fires in fires in assisted living facilities often occur due to improper use of dryers.

Most commonly, improper maintenance is the culprit. Fires can ignite when lint traps in commercial clothes dryers are full, and the ducts become clogged, thereby blocking the dryer’s ventilation system. When dryers cannot effectively ventilate, the heat inside of the unit increases enough to cause the highly-flammable lint to catch fire.

Fires can also ignite when items prohibited from being machine-dried, such as mop heads and chemical-saturated rags, are tossed into the dryer. The dryer’s heat can cause combustible chemicals to ignite, causing all items in the dryer barrel to catch fire.

Ways to Prevent Laundry Fires

Properly maintaining machines is the best way to avoid assisted living facility laundry room fires. Lint traps need regular emptying, ideally after every drying cycle. Dryer vents should be professionally cleaned every three to years at a minimum. 

Employees who utilize your facility’s drying machines should receive proper training in their use, routine care, and safety protocols. Key training points should include identifying signs of a dryer fire, emptying lint traps, understanding what cannot be placed into the dryer, and keeping surrounding areas clean.

Potential signs of an impending dryer fire include:

  • Smoke
  • Burning smell
  • Excessive heat
  • Popping sounds
  • Extended dry times
  • Overheating/shut off

It’s also ideal to avoid leaving a dryer running while unattended.

Added Benefits of Maintenance

Properly maintaining your machines has other added benefits beyond preventing fires. By regularly cleaning your commercial dryers, you can avoid build-up that puts added strain on your machines and shortens their functional lifespan. Additionally, a properly maintained machine runs more efficiently, avoiding increased electricity bills for the facility.

Fire Systems, Inc.

Are you the facility manager of an assisted living facility? Protecting your facility against commercial laundry machine fires may seem daunting. Thankfully, Atlanta-based Fire Systems, Inc. is here to help. As an all-services fire protection company, the team at Fire Systems, Inc. has decades of experience safeguarding assisted living facilities against potential laundry room fires. 

From design to implementation, routine maintenance, and beyond, our technicians will be with you every step of the way, ensuring a smooth, cohesive process for business owners and facility managers. 

Ready to get started? Visit our website or give us a call today at (770) 333-7979.