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Reduce risks for firefighters - through proper washing and drying

Reduce risks for firefighters - through proper washing and drying

  A study in Sweden revealed that fire fighters are exposed to increased risks not only in response to fire and flooding: contaminated suits, gloves or helmets can also be a health hazard for the wearer. At the "Florian" trade fair in Dresden, Electrolux Professional will be presenting a washing and drying solution that decontaminates the equipment of the emergency services and keeps it functional.

"Anyone who simply puts their fire-fighting gear into the household washing machine has realized that soot and dirt should be removed from the work tool as quickly as possible," says Sven Engelmann, owner and managing director of laundry technology Engelmann in Dresden, an Electrolux Excellence Partner. "However, conventional standard washing processes are far from sufficient to sustainably clean contaminated clothing, such as after a fire."

The cleaning of firefighters' suits and all the equipment they need - helmets, respirators, gloves, boots - is a material that requires careful treatment during the washing process. For example, membranes in the protective suits ensure that water and toxic substances are stopped and can not penetrate to the skin of the emergency services. Reflection strips, on the other hand, should not be exposed to friction, because otherwise they will "go blind". And the many buckles and carabiners should not get caught while washing. Protective gloves, mostly made of leather, also need a gentle cycle when washing and drying.

  Especially important: disinfection
"Even more important than the careful handling of the high-quality work clothes is their hygienic cleaning and disinfection", stresses Sven Engelmann. The Swedish study by the local workers' association, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions and the Reichsverband der Feuerwehren points out that many new building materials are used in buildings today, which results in additional health hazards for firefighters. The emergency services are to be protected against those carcinogenic substances that can enter the body via the breath and the skin. This means that even respiratory masks or gloves, which are particularly heavily loaded, must be cleaned and disinfected regularly. This is the only way to ensure that they retain their functionality. Sven Engelmann: "The fact that the membranes that absorb and store toxic substances, for example, are constantly emptied and returned to their original state, is a survival necessity for firefighters."

For this reason, Electrolux Professional has developed a washing and drying process that allows fire brigades and other civil protection and civil protection organizations to properly and hygienically wash, dry and additionally impregnate their clothing and associated equipment.

At the "Florian" trade fair in Dresden, Electrolux Professional will be exhibiting devices that are adapted to the special needs of fire departments based on the freely programmable control of Electrolux washing machines. Among other things, the washing machines have an increased water level and the mechanical movements are reduced so as not to damage the high-tech fibers and the accessories. The Electrolux Professional booth also features a lockable chemical cabinet for safe storage of laundry detergent in accordance with BG requirements, as well as a dosing unit for liquid detergents, including a vacancy control for process safety.

The W5130 H/S can be used to wash jackets, dungarees or chemical protective suits. For respirators also a small washing machine like the W555H is sufficient.

Drying Unit for Firefighter Uniforms
Drying of work textiles and accessories for firefighters is best done with special drying ovens. Electrolux Professional presents such a drying cabinet at the trade fair in Germany: this is the two-door version of the Electrolux TS4175WW drying cabinet, which can hold four fire fighter suits. For drying, Electrolux Professional has developed special hangers that first blow warm air inside the suits, then flow into the closet and dry the surface of the suits.

Sven Engelmann: "This has the advantage that the suits do not have to be turned to the right during the drying process." & Nbsp; Built-in filters and the application of the vacuum principle prevent lint or air from escaping into the equipment compartment. Automatic drying programs - 75 degrees Celsius for impregnating Gore-Tex suits and 60 degrees for quilted suits - are available. If you have less washing, you can also work with drum dryers. For masks there are extra drum inserts available.

With its washing and drying solution, Electrolux Professional appeals to anyone wearing protective clothing, such as emergency services, municipal construction workers, and disposal and public services. Sven Engelmann: "Electrolux Professional is therefore increasingly addressing cities and communities that, for example, run volunteer fire departments or professional fire brigades and pay close attention to the protection of their employees."

Electrolux Professional exhibits at the Florian, Trade Fair for Fire, Civil and Civil Defense, from 11th to 13th October 2018 at the Dresdner Messe Halle 2, Stand A5 off.

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