568 - 2/08 - Preventing Laundry Fires - Worldwide

The majority of ship board fires originate in the engine room, but a substantial number of preventable fires occur in laundry rooms due to poor practices.


The main cause of dryer fires is the build up of lint inside and under the dryer. Regular maintenance should include accessing dryer vents and vent hoses to ensure they are clear. The build-up of lint causes dryers to run longer and hotter than they should. Heat limiting switches can wear out and fail from fatigue.

·  Rig vent hoses as short and straight as possible with a direct route to the outside

·  Ensure dryers are checked frequently according to the planned maintenance schedule

·  Remove lint which can build up beneath the unit, in filters, hoses and vents.

The image (right) shows a build-up of lint, on fire, inside a vent hose. Once ignited, the fire can quickly spread.

Washing powder

Many washing powders contain oxidizing agents, or oxygen-based bleaching agents, to promote cleaning. Oxidizing agents are substances that, while in themselves not necessarily combustible, may, generally by yielding oxygen, cause, or contribute to, the combustion of other material.

If too much powder is used in a wash then it is often not all removed during the wash cycle. If the washing load is then transferred to a dryer machine, any washing powder present may assist in the ignition of a fire.

·  Use written notices in laundry rooms to inform staff of the danger of putting too much washing powder in machines

·  Ensure guidelines, including those on washing powder packaging, are translated into the working language of the crew.

Source of information: 

UK P&I Club

Loss Prevention Department

Email: lossprevention.ukclub@thomasmiller.com

Tel: +44 20 7204 2217

Internet: www.ukpandi.com

Industry developments

Polar Shipping

Legal, navigational and environmental resources, news and updates on the development of polar shipping. Read more

US VRP Compliance

With effect from 30th January 2014 non-tank as well as tankships calling at US ports will be required to submit VRPs.  For Club and other resources to assist in compliance click here

International Environmental compliance

Environmental Compliance resource page collates material in respect of International environmental compliance issues affecting our Members. Information from the Club, Loss Prevention and external resources has been collated in one place for ease of reference.

MLC 2006

The Maritime Labour Convention enters into force in August 2013 - resources, news & advice on implementation can be found in this dedicated section.  READ MORE

International sanctions

Recent guidance & corresponding material in respect of international sanctions against various countries has been updated with respect to temporary easing of sanctions against Iran.  READ MORE


Essential precautions and preparation against piracy, as well as additional information and resources, loss prevention advisories and useful external web links

Emergency Contacts

If you need to call our offices out of hours and at weekends, click After Office hours for a up to date list of the names of the Duty Executives and their mobile phone numbers. 

Ship Finder

This Ship Finder is updated on a daily basis. Members who need to advise the Club of updates to their recorded ships' details should advise their usual underwriting contact.