New Dry Cleaning Hazards

Issue 4 and Volume 97.

New Dry Cleaning Hazards Use by dry cleaning establishments of petroleum type solvents in lieu of synthetic solvents which are noninflammable is causing a serious fire hazard. Due to heavy military demands, synthetic solvents are not available for drycleaning purposes and many dry cleaning firms which were equipped with machinery designed for use with this class of solvent have been attempting to substitute petroleum-base solvents. Such use constitutes a serious fire hazard, and in many cases is in violation of safety ordinances. At least two costly fires have already resulted from misuse of equipment designed to use only synthetic solvents. Fire prevention bureaus should therefore make inspections to determine what practices are being followed in dry cleaning establishments in their cities. Samples of the cleaning solvent should be examined and it should be explained to operators of drycleaning plants which are in violation, that inherent fire hazards of petroleumbase solvents…

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