Laundry Equipment Safety 101

fire starters are everywhere in a laundry facility
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Laundry Equipment Safety

Do you have a fireplace in your home or a firepit on your patio? Maybe you often have trouble getting your firewood to burn? Well if you do a quick internet search for fire starters, the idea that shows up the most is this: take a toilet paper tube and stuff it full of dryer lint, then put this tube under your wood and put a match to the lint. Now you are probably wondering, what does this have to do with laundry equipment safety?

Dryer Lint and paper towel tube

Did you know that you may already have this ingenious solution waiting for you in your laundry area? Behind each of your dryers is a four-inch tube that could be packed full of nice, dry lint. All it needs is a spark and VOILA! Instant fire! And since most commercial laundry equipment runs on gas, well, need we say more?

Lint and fire are laundry equipment safety hazard
Actual customer job shows lint, and open flame side by side.

Do we have your attention now?

The majority of dryer fires occur because highly flammable lint gets caught in the vent and is then heated to the point of ignition. Emptying the lint screens before each load is NOT enough to prevent lint buildup. But yes, the lint screens should be emptied after every load. However because all of the lint doesn’t stop at the screen, small particles slowly accumulate in the dryer itself and eventually make their way into the ductwork.

Actual photo of a dryer duct on the roof of one of our customer’s buildings.

How can you tell if your ducts are full of lint?

  • Are clothes taking TOO LONG to dry?
  • Are clothes TOO DAMP at the end of a cycle?
  • OR are clothes TOO HOT at the end of a cycle?
  • Is your dryer not running at all?

If you answered yes to ANY of these – your dryer vent may be the culprit, and it may need to be cleaned – NOW!

Don’t mess with this task yourself. Because most likely what you can reach is only a small portion of what is actually in there. Call LES and let our ductwork professionals thoroughly clean all of your dryer ductwork.

Laundry Equipment Safety clean up lint
Actual inverter fan from one of our PM jobs.

Keep it clean

Dust, lint and open flames just don’t mix well, and a room full of dryers is loaded with all 3. Be sure to dust your equipment regularly front, top, back, and sides. Depending on how much laundry your facility does each day, you may need to make this a daily task.

 

Leaking pipe
Leaking pipe from an actual PM job. Leaking chemicals will destroy equipment.

Take Safety Inventory

You’ve taken care of some potential fire hazards, but what about other unsafe conditions in your business or machines?

Your business doesn’t need all brand-new equipment for it to be safe. However, the equipment you have should be in proper, working condition! Check for parts on your machines that could injure customers or employees. Plus, make sure that all areas in your laundry room are well lit: not only will this eliminate potential fall hazards, it will also make people feel safe and your business more inviting!

  • Check washers for leaking hoses/dispensers
  • Inspect all equipment for loose belts/door hinges and gaskets
  • Replace light bulbs or add more lighting (going LED will save money as well!)
  • Try the emergency stop buttons to make sure that they function as expected
  • Display the proper SDS (safety data sheets) for any chemicals being used. You can learn more about chemicals and SDS sheets from Weiss Bros training.

laundry equipment safety training

Laundry Equipment Safety Training

The best-case scenario is that no one will ever be hurt on your property but as a business owner you should always be prepared for the worst-case scenarios! If you have employees, then you should train them in the proper protocol for any injuries that may occur. And if you are a one-man show, then you too need to know how to respond in the event of an emergency.

  • Everyone needs to know where the fire extinguishers are located (and you need to make sure they are not expired), and also how to use them
  • Teach them the importance of chemical safety
  • Make sure that they know what to do if a customer’s washer or dryer has a malfunction
  • Have at least one responsible person on your team get their first aid certification

 

Call us today to schedule a PM and get you set up for routine ductwork and equipment maintenance and cleaning because you can’t afford not to.

800-866-6905

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