Putting Out Fires

Is your spa at risk for a potential laundry-related fire? The causes are usually surprising and due to conditions very few would imagine. Fortunately, most fires are preventable. It basically boils down to some simple steps that every spa owner should follow and every staff member should enforce. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.” Here are some things you can do to protect your spa and avoid a costly and dangerous fire.

  • Make sure your gas or electric dryer has an automatic shut-off switch that is tripped from either smoke or fire. 
  • Install a few extra smoke detectors with an extra one right where your dryer(s) are located.
  • Make sure your gas or electric dryer has a fire-resistant attachment or sprinkler system that activates if a fire occurs. The water will put out the fire immediately.
  • When washing garments, confirm that nothing has been left in the pockets, and check for any metallic materials that could cause a spark while in the dryer. Consider having staff members turn pockets out.
  • Clean out lint traps every night before closing, and make sure no paper or debris has fallen into the dryer that could ignite spontaneously.
  • Never leave laundry sitting in the dryer after shut off has occurred. It is critical to remove everything as soon as you see or hear that the dryer has stopped operating.
  • Before folding and stacking your laundry, make sure it is cool to the touch.
  • Remember to use a good degreaser in special automatic laundering programs with your washer-extractor. This will ensure that highly flammable oil, grease, mud, and cream will dissolve. As an extra precaution, take the oily towels, garments, or sheets and soak them overnight in a special drum dedicated for this process with a water and oil eliminator added. The next day, wash your laundry with “The Oil Eliminator” to ensure removal.
  • Bring your on-premises house laundry system up to the highest standard by using soft-mount programmable washer extractors and dryers with the latest technology. There now exists state-of-the-art laundry equipment that utilizes fire-resistant systems.
  •  Use safe and green cleaning products that are automatically measured and dispensed properly. This will eliminate the need to handle them.
  • As with any equipment that is used continuously, you should have a regular maintenance program to ensure it is operating to standards.


—Ira Feinberg

@bio: Ira Feinberg, CEO of Panaram International Trading Co. and USATOWL, has more than 40 years of cleaning consulting experience. For more information about protecting your spa from a fire, contact him at (800) 872-8695 or [email protected] You can also log on to www.usatowl.com.