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How drying rooms help the emergency services stay ready for the next call

5 min read
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Drying rooms are, in essence, the essential back-up for the emergency services, whether their teams are extinguishing fires or saving lives at sea.

Every emergency is different, but it is more than likely that safety clothing and equipment will come into contact with water, or at least need washing after use. Without having the chance to dry thoroughly, this vital kit can become dangerous to the wearer, deteriorate faster and is more likely to fail when it’s needed most.

Why humid air is a hazard

Before the use of climate-controlled drying rooms, most clothing and equipment would be hung out on drying racks, often with heating turned-up in an attempt to accelerate the process. However, this method is neither fast, efficient, or cost effective (especially during winter).

While heat will lift water from materials, in a room filled with wet equipment and little ventilation, moisture will remain in the air. As well as prolonging the drying process, this makes condensation more likely to form on any surface that’s colder than the atmosphere around it. Condensation and humidity create the perfect environment for mould and mildew which will rot clothing and equipment, and pose a serious health risk as it releases toxic spores into the air.

Not only does it deteriorate faster, damp clothing and equipment also puts lives at risk. For lifeboat crews and the coastguard facing icy conditions at sea, cold stress is a real danger. In fact, wet clothing will cause the wearer to lose body heat up to 24 times faster and can quickly lead to hypothermia. On the opposite end of the temperature scale, the furnace-like conditions that firefighters work under can turn any excess moisture on their clothing and equipment into steam. This can cause serious and even life threatening burns if it comes into contact with skin.

Aside from the risk to human life, when clothing and equipment is not ready to use, the emergency service sector will experience delayed response times, disrupted training schedules, costly repairs and more frequent replacements of expensive kit.

How a dehumidifier-powered drying room can save the day

Unlike heating, dehumidifiers circulate humid air throughout the room to prevent it from condensing on surfaces, clothing and equipment, at the same time physically removing the moisture as it filters through the system.

As well as preventing the need to continuously reheat incoming air, dehumidifiers are able to take energy from moisture in the room and convert it to useful heat that accelerates the drying process. Even in a sealed room, filled with equipment, a high-quality dehumidifier can help the emergency services dry saturated kit in 12 to 16 hours.

The process

  • Damp air is drawn into the dehumidifier and across a refrigerated coil

  • The air is cooled below its dew point, condensing the water vapour

  • Latent heat energy is recovered and re-used

  • Cooled air passes across the condenser and reheated

  • The warm dry air is then returned to the room at the required humidity

Key benefits

  • High performance level, even in unheated rooms

  • Powerful centrifugal fan

  • Professional hot gas automatic defrost

  • Automatic hygrostat controlled dehumidification

  • Can connect to an external condensation drain or condensate pump

  • Self contained

Put your team in safe hands

With freestanding, portable and wall mounted options, Dantherm dehumidifiers can be used to turn almost any space into a drying room. Easy installation, minimal disruption and support from an in-house applications department and international service network, they are a top choice for teams working across the emergency services sector. For help determining the best dehumidification system for your facility and expert advice on implementing a drying room you can rely on, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

Related products

Dantherm CDF 40-50-70 – condensation dehumidifiers
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Wall-mounted/floor-standing dehumidifiers

The energy-efficient and quiet CDF range of powerful dehumidifiers is ideal for preserving and protecting your valuables from humidity damage.

Dantherm CDF 10 – condensation dehumidifier
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Wall-mounted dehumidifiers

The CDF dehumidifier is ideal for protecting furnishings and equipment stored at low temperatures.

Dantherm DanX AF – swimming pool and commercial dehumidifiers
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High capacity swimming pool and commercial ducted dehumidifiers

The DanX AF is a very effective heat pump dehumidification system, which perfectly controls the humidity and indoor temperature while offering significant running cost reductions.

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