Laundry specialist JLA is urging care home operations directors to check that their tumble dryers are properly serviced and used within manufacturers guidelines.
The advice comes as the Local Government Authority, which represents 48 fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales, released a report that found there were over 2,000 tumble dryer-related fires between 2012 and 2014, resulting in the deaths of two people.
The statistics highlight the fact that it is vitally important the correct commercial equipment is used, particularly in environments with vulnerable or elderly residents such as special schools or nursing homes, says JLA.
Many care homes use ordinary household tumble driers that do not have the capacity required. “Domestic dryers are simply not designed for use in commercial environments. Manufactured to process an average of around 250 loads each year, their commercial counterparts are expected to double this workload and are far more robust in their construction. The additional stress placed on domestic machines in commercial environments can result in more faults, increasing the risk of a fire hazard,” JLA cautions.
JLA recommends its commercial SMART Dry range, which a SAFE (Sensor Activated Fire Extinguishing) system. As well as reducing the risk of fire, the dryers also reduce drying times by up to 18% and energy costs by up to 30%, the company claims.
Constantly monitoring the dryer’s drum to give you non-stop protection against the outbreak of fire, the SAFE system features two SMART sensors that detect any significant change in temperature. In the event of a fire, a water vapour mechanism soaks the laundry to extinguish flames in seconds. No flooding ever takes place, and there is no risk of injury or damage to staff or property, and no need for emergency evacuation procedures, JLA explains.