Minimising the risk of combustion

3 December 2010

Cellulosic lint comes from cotton, linen and viscose fibres and is extremely flammable. Once ignited the lint may prove impossible to extinguish as any fire where these fibres are present will spread very rapidly giving the cleaner little, if any, time to react.

Drycleaning machines and the rear of rotor cabinets are particularly prone to the build up of lint, which can be ignited by electrical faults or by engineering work that involves cutting or welding equipment.

Drycleaning machines are difficult to clean because of the intricate pipework. One method of keeping them lint free is to clean thepipework with compressed air on a frequent and regular basis – at least one a week.

This will not create a problem since the amount of lint removed is very small.

Please note that halide detector lamps should never be used by cleaners or engineers to search for vapour leaks on drycleaning machines. There is a serious risk of a serious fire if any lint is ignited.

I know of one senior engineer who set light to a drycleaning machine in this way and only just managed to avoid calling in the fire brigade.

Spontaneous combustion can start when hot items – from a tumble dryer, for example – are left in a barrow.

The load can then continue to generate more heat until it eventually it bursts into flame.

Many serious fires have been caused by items left in a barrow catching fire overnight.

Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.