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Fires in the Bathroom

Tuesday, 29th March, 2016

Fires starting in the bathroom might seem odd but it's less unusual than you may think. The culprit, here, wall or ceiling mounted exhausted fans which haven't been maintained properly. 

Extractor fans are great at preventing steamed up mirrors, damp walls and fogged windows. They are, however, a fire hazard.

A Fire and Rescue Officer quotes:

"These fans, over time, build up lint that insulates the motor, exacerbating the heat build-up; the lint provides an easy to ignite fuel source which in turn ignites nearby combustible building materials. The build-up of lint within these fans, and on the fan motor, can create a potential fire hazard."

So what can you do to stay safe?

Here's what The Fire Service recommends:

  • All bathroom exhaust fans should be inspected and cleaned out regularly.
  • Fans that are not easily accessible for regular cleaning, appear to have heat damage or do not turn freely should be replaced with thermally protected units.
  • Avoid prolonged use and ensure the fan is turned off prior to leaving home.

This advice, of course, also applies to other ares of the home including kitchens where a build-up of fat residue can have equally catastrophic consequences. If you haven't done so recently, it might be worth having a look at your extractors. 


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