Essential oils, which are easily combustible, are increasingly used in aromatherapy and other complementary treatments. The issue of these combustible oils came to light when a beauty therapy room at Swindon College was badly damaged in April after a blaze broke out in a pile of towels.
Fires in tumble dryers, linen baskets and airing cupboards where towels had oil on them have caught fire and fire officers are concerned that incidents in launderettes, salons and homes could have the same cause.
The problem seems to arise when the wash cycle has been set to a cool temperature. When the wash has been at 100 degrees or above, the oil residue is more likely to be safely broken down by the washing detergents.
For more on fire safety at colleges and workplaces, view:
U.S Senate Makes September Campus Fire Safety Month
Fire Safety Tips for Your Workplace