Bathroom Exhaust Fan Fire Hazards
These fans are not designed to last forever and many are original installs. Older exhaust fans are not thermally protected. Thermal protection causes the motor to shut off should they seize and overheat. This safety feature has been available since the late 1970’s, but was not widely used until the early 1990’s. If you have a bathroom exhaust fan in your home, clean it twice a year. If it starts to make noises or smells odd, it’s time to replace it.
Action Steps You Can Take
Do not leave your bathroom exhaust fan fon for long periods of time as this increases the likelihood of a fire.
- Inspect and clean all bathroom exhaust fans as necessary and per the manufacturer’s recommendations, be sure to place on a regular cleaning schedule.
- When cleaning, remove the fan cover to clean and remove lint from around the motor, paying careful attention to all air-flow areas.
- Wash the fan cover in warm soapy water to remove all lint. If there is any mold growing, add bleach to the cleaning mixture.
- Make sure the cover is completely dry before putting it back up.
- If some fans are not easily accessible for regular cleaning, or appear to have evidence of heat damage, or do not turn freely, they should be replaced with thermally protected units.
- Bathroom fans should only be used for brief periods of time, such as during a shower. Many people run them excessively or even forget that they are on.
- Consider installing a timer switch instead of a manual switch to limit the unnecessary use of the fan.
- Turn off all fans as soon as they have done the job.
You can download and print this Bathroom Exhaust Fan Safety flier for more information.