While operating your commercial laundry, it’s essential to keep yourself, employees, your business and products safe. Laundry fires are one of your greatest risks and most often occur after hours, whether your commercial dryers are running or not.

Here are some important facts and tips to take precautions from fire starting in your commercial laundry. 

Spontaneous Combustion

As the name suggests, spontaneous combustion occurs when a fire starts without the application of an apparent heat source. Spontaneous combustion can cause potentially deadly scenarios.

In a dryer, heat accumulates on the linen faster than it can dissipate. The heat continues until critical surface temperature (ignition point) is reached.

Liquids are considered flammable, whereas materials which catch fire are considered combustible.

Cotton is a combustible material, and when surface temperature reaches 100 degrees Celsius, the cotton will start generating its own heat. The normal high temperature on a dryer is just under 90 degrees Celsius. The cotton will start to decompose/generate more heat faster if tightly compacted and in a confined area, like when dryers are overstuffed with clothing.

The number 1 cause of dryer fires in laundries across Australia occurs when the load of linens are left in the dryer outside of hours. Often the laundry staff will start the dryer at the end of their shift and head home, planning on unloading the linens the next morning. Unfortunately once that dryer cycle has completed the linens retain the heat and moisture and as they are sitting in one spot and not rotating that heat has no way to disperse and the linens can easily combust. With this often happening outside of operating hours it can very easily spread through your entire laundry before anybody can notice and stop it. 


Never leave any load of washing in a dryer outside of operating hours.

The likelihood of laundry fires is made all the more likely when you’re laundering anything with oils or other flammables. If you are laundering anything from Massage parlours or hair and beauty salons you will need to ensure you’re using the correct chemicals in the wash cycle to remove the oils before they enter the dryer to prevent overheating and burning. 

The fire triangle consists of:

  • The oxidising agent (oxygen in the air)
  • Fuel (clothes in the dryer, but most commonly lint)
  • Heat source (heat from the dryer)

Small lint particles are more inclined to cause spontaneous combustion than a whole garment. Instances of spontaneous combustion are greater in summer and warmer climates. 

Maximise Safety & Prevent Commerical Laundry Fires

What NOT to do:

  • Overfill the laundry dryer
  • Leave large loads in the dryer after the drying cycle ends
  • Forget to clean your lint screens/drawers regularly
  • Leave damp items in a warm or hot dryer – start the drying cycle immediately

Preventative measures:

  • Lint screens and lint drawer gaskets – clean regularly
  • Remove and clean gas burner regularly
  • Check door linings for proper seal
  • Check main exhaust duct works for clear, unobstructed airflow

Preventing fires in your commercial laundry shouldn’t be a hassle when you think about the potentially life-saving measures you’re making.

The Safest Commercial Laundry Equipment Available

If you’re looking at commercial Dryers for sale, you should definitely check to see if they have fire suppression technology. Look for high-quality commercial dryers that will get the job done, but also ones that will minimise the hazards of a warmer Australian climate and onsite fire risks.

Maytag Industrial Energy Advantage dryers have a fire suppression system as standard to prevent laundry room fires. Maytag’s sensor-activated fire extinguishing (S.A.F.E.) system provides a much-needed breakthrough in commercial laundry technology and should be the number one choice for your commercial laundry.

Are you looking for a commercial washing machine for sale? Or a dryer with fire suppressant technology? Contact Dependable Laundry Solutions today for equipment and expertise to safeguard your commercial laundry.