maryna / stock.adobe.com
This month’s Sun is Life feature devoted words to covering emergency procedures at your facility, including what to do in case of a fire. Many salon owners will probably take a glance and slough off reading it; but they shouldn’t. I believe it’s an appropriate topic to kick off our Watchdog columns for the New Year, so let’s dig in.
At this time of year, much of your energies are directed toward gearing up your staff for the upcoming season, maybe upgrading some equipment, stocking up on lotions and accessories. Probably very little time will be devoted to developing and training staff on your emergency procedures, including fire preparedness. My research for this piece took me online to search for stories of tanning salon fires. I was not entirely surprised by the results.
Over the years, there have been instances when salon guests were actually using a sunbed when it caught fire. Some were the result of improper wiring or a unit malfunction; which makes the first point to ensure that each piece of equipment is wired by a licensed electrician – not your friend or spouse who appears to be technically gifted, unless they ARE actually a licensed electrician.
The next point: make sure that you periodically completely open and gently but carefully vacuum the interior and fans of your tanning systems.They are dust “magnets” and will pull a substantial amount of dust and debris into your system. This will inevitably lead to fans that underperform and also reduce the cooling capacity of your sunbeds and booths. I have witnessed sunbed acrylics that have actually warped and vinyl sunbed pillows that have melted from excessive heat. Wipe those fan blades with a mild cleaner and remove any surrounding dust.
Perhaps you might encounter a unit that sounds like it’s about to take off in flight – lots of “rumbling” coming from the sunbed or booth. Then, the noise may decrease or even stop. The problem is gone, right? Wrong! The bearings inside the fan unit have probably seized and the fan blades have quit rotating. It’s similar to when you’re driving and apply the brakes and hear a loud, unfamiliar noise. At some point, it might go away; but rest assured the problem is still more than likely there. Fix it on time and you might save yourself a good bit of cash. Wait, and it will probably lead to a bigger issue. The same goes for your sunbeds and booths!
In the end, this piece was not to give anyone anxiety, but to drive interest in preparedness. For those of you who just had a flashback to the scene in “Final Destination 3” where the two girls were trapped in sunbeds with increasing heat and for the sake of the movie, “fried” – please remember that’s a movie. But, do invest the time to clean your equipment now, prior to the season kicking wide open and be ready to welcome your tanners to the New Year!
A 26-year industry veteran, Joe has taught certified salon operator training for the last 15 years, as well as advocating indoor tanning in many capacities. Joe is a sought-after speaker and presenter at both national & regional trade events, also interacting with the FDA, state & local regulatory agencies. During his most recent tenure with the ITA, he served as director of membership.
Copyright 2020 ist Magazine