Business Management

It's Getting Hot In Here

A rash of salon fires reminds salon owners just how much they stand to lose. Knowing the potential fire dangers that exist in your salon and taking steps to curb them, as well as determining what your business is worth and getting good insurance coverage will help prevent a fire in your salon and minimize its effects should the worst come to pass.

The Science of Preventing Salon Fires

We asked Doug Schoon, co-chair of the Safety and Standards Committee of the NMC, to give us nail-salon specific tips for preventing a fire. “The most dangerous materials in a nail salon, in terms of fire, are polish removers, solvents, product removers, and nail dehydrating agents,” says Schoon.

  • Be particularly aware of the vapors they produce, as these are where ignition occurs. Vapors increase with increased heat, so keep volatile materials tightly sealed and away from heat sources.
  • Keep waste in metal trash cans with pop-top lids to contain fires if vapors ignite in the trash can. Empty trash several times a day to prevent vapors from accumulating.
  • Limit the quantity of flammable materials in the salon and store large quantities (anything more than two gallons) in flammable cabinets with a self-closing door.
  • Invest in a smoke detector and fire extinguisher at the very least. If possible, install a fire alarm that is linked to the fire department so that their response time is minimized – and hopefully so is the damage.
  • The most common way to start fires is through the heating of solvents. To safely heat solvent, pour it into a plastic or glass jar and cover with a lid, leaving it just open enough to allow vapors to escape. Run warm water over jar to heat contents. Never place solvents in the microwave or over a hot plate.
  • Call your local fire department and have them visit your salon to point out possible fire hazards and make safety suggestions tailored to your salon.

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