The National : THE NATIONAL Issue 2 2009
required, as occurs in piles of laundry. We viewed a series of photographs of an experiment in creating spontaneous combustion with rags in a bin. After about 4 hours, the temperature of the rags had reached 212̊C. The picture showed some fumes/smoke coming from the rags. About six hours in there was much more smoke and the temperature was 311̊C! We noted also the browning of the rags at the edge of the can. Flaming combustion followed shortly after the ignition temperature was reached at the point where oxygen was freely available. Take Measures To Prevent Spontaneous Ignition Fires In Your Laundry Facility No matter how obvious it may seem, the following steps should be taken to reduce the incident of spontaneous ignition fires. Remember the fire triangle (fuel, heat and oxidisation) and elimi- nate contributing factors. Eliminate fuel (contaminants): 1. Evaluate wash temperatures and detergent formulations for optimum removal of contaminants, particularly oils. Eliminate heat: 1. Train managers and workers about spontaneous ignition and contaminates susceptible to oxidising or self-heating. 2. If dryers do not have high temperature limitation switches or moisture, meters installation is recommended to monitor and regulate load temperatures. 3. Develop dryer maintenance schedules to include regular lint removal; keep a log. 4. Fire suppression systems in dryers is recommended. Eliminate oxidation: 1. Train dryer operators regarding operating temperatures and cool-down times for each type of fabric. 2. When hot laundry is removed from the cart, process it immediately so heat does not build up in the cart. Do not leave overnight. 3. Process soiled laundry immediately or store away Prepare for a fire occurrence: 1. Laundry buildings should have sprinkler systems and monitored early warning detection systems. 2. Purchase only non-combustible or fire retardant containers that are listed and certified according to relevant codes. 3. Maintain fire extinguishers and train in their use annually. 4. Have a plan to react to fire and train regularly in its implementation. Keep records. General Laundry Fires Photographs of some public accounts of fires were provided. • Laundry fire at Southland Hospital at Invercargill, NZ. The building was owned by the hospital, but the laundry was leased out to a contractor • Guests were evacuated from a hotel during a blaze. A fire forced the evacuation of two hundred guests from a Perth hotel. The fire started in the laundry of the Goodearth Hotel, on Adelaide Terrace, around midnight filling several floors of the building with smoke. Forty-five fire fighters took 20 minutes to bring the blaze under control. No one was injured, but one person was treated by paramedics for stress. • One laundry owner is lucky to be alive after being trapped behind a locked door in a burning building. The man, who was sleeping on the premises, tried to flee the blaze through a downstairs exit. The two-storey building has been largely destroyed, but an 58 THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER, VOLUME 59, #2 2009 Standing - Mathew Trann (Newway Supplies), Manuel Gatis and John Solomos (S.A. Linen) seated - Jean Calinao and Mario Marini (International Linen) shared some of their life experiences which have included migration, language barriers, laundry fires, changes in careers and relationships.
THE NATIONAL Issue 1 2009
THE NATIONAL Issue 3 2009