Message from the Fire Marshal Sauna Fires Susceptible to Back Draft Explosions

Posted in Fire Department News

Sauna fires can be extremely dangerous to firefighters.  The high temperatures in an enclosed space lead to pyrolisis of the wood creating a mixture of gasses which is explosive as soon as oxygen is introduced by opening the door. 

Analysis of past sauna fires indicated that the most common causes for sauna fires were:

  • Improper installation, including not adhering to the minimum clearances to combusils recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Tampering or disconnection of critical fail-safe components, such as heat sensors, high limit switches, timing switches and thermostats; and
  • combustible materials, such as towels, left on the heater.

 

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