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Survey: One-Third of Managers Say Facilities Have Suffered Fires

CHICAGO — One-third of laundry managers responding to a Wire survey say their laundry or one under their administration has suffered a fire during their tenure.
In elaborating on the incidents, most involved lint buildup or spontaneous combustion of textiles.
One respondent described a small fire that started when a loose towel fell from an overhead rail system and landed on top of a dryer burner. The towel caught fire but a supervisor extinguished it with a fire extinguisher. The laundry later installed a guard above the dryers to prevent linen from falling on them.
A small lint fire started under an ironer because a bearing overheated, a respondent says. Lint buildup in dryers once caused a fire, another respondent adds.
In at least two fires, improper handling of kitchen rags was to blame. In a prison laundry, wash floor workers now receive “stronger” training on utilizing proper dryer temperatures for different linen types.
Running bath blankets through a flatwork ironer caused a fire, it was reported, but it wasn’t explained exactly how this occurred.
Nearly half of managers who responded say their laundry equipment causes them the most concern about fire potential.
The frequency at which their facilities have fire drills varies, but 66.7% report having had a drill within the last six months. It’s been within the last year for 5.6% and more than a year ago for 11.1%. The remainder – 16.7% – aren’t sure when they last had a fire drill.
On a more personal note, managers were asked to name their favorite leisure destination.
The beach was the pick of nearly 40% of respondents. A lake was the choice of 22.2%. For others, it’s the mountains (16.7%) or an amusement park or a national/state park (5.6% each).
Subscribers to American Laundry News’ Wire e-mails — now distributed weekly — are invited to participate in an industry survey each month. The survey is conducted online via a partner website. Each survey is developed so it can be completed in 10 minutes or less. Readers are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.
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Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Matt Poe at [email protected].