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Bathroom Ventilation Safety Information:

  • It is recommended that bathroom ductwork and venting be inspected, cleaned and maintained at least once yearly.
  • Bathroom exhaust fans and connected ductwork are often overlooked when homeowners check maintenance periodically. Malfunctioning bathroom exhaust fans are a contributing cause of residential fires each year.
  • A couple of basic reasons for bathroom exhaust fan fires are overheating caused by a faulty exhaust fan, and excessive fan motor wear caused by reduced airflow from dust, dirt or contaminate buildup in the exhaust ductwork.
  • Here are also a couple of follow-up points relating to bathroom exhaust fans:

1. Keep bathroom exhaust fans clean and lubricated. Most people don't think about the accumulation of dust that occurs beyond the plastic or metal grill or housing visible from where they stand. Over a period of years, dust can accumulate causing the motor to work harder and even seize. A seized electric motor continues to generate heat, but doesn't draw enough amperage to trip the circuit breaker. If this problem continues undetected, it is possible for sufficient heat to generate the ignition of dust, hairspray residue, lint, wiring, plastic fan blades, housing, etc.

2. Bathroom exhaust fans should be replaced when they become noisy. Bathroom exhaust fans begin to get louder when in operation after years of continuous use. Sometime increased fan noise is simply an issue of accumulated debris particles causing the fan to vibrate out of rotational balance. However, if basic cleaning doesn’t fix this issue, then the bathroom exhaust fan should be replaced ASAP.

  • For additional fire protection safety information please visit the National Fire Protection Agency site at www.napa.org.
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