Sauna fire safety guidelines

Saunas provide a relaxing environment for your club members and guests, so long as they are properly installed, operated and maintained. Follow these guidelines to help reduce the chance of a sauna electric heater-related fire and contribute to the safety of your sauna facilities.

  • Heater installation and any subsequent maintenance should be done by a licensed, qualified electrician, following manufacturer requirements. The unit must be grounded and proper clearances to combustible materials maintained. Electrical equipment used in wet areas such as saunas should be equipped with ground fault protection.
  • Check the sauna at regular intervals, including opening and closing, for materials that may have been left on the heater.
  • A steel, mesh guard should be in place on top of the unit. Replace immediately if missing or damaged. The sauna should not be used without this guard in place.
  • Placement of towels or other combustibles over the heater should be prohibited using signs and instructions from your staff to members and guests.
  • Heater rocks that surround the heating elements should be replaced at least annually. Rocks will crumble with repetitive heating and cooling, reducing airflow and increasing heater temperature.
  • Sauna heating systems should be separated from all other areas by a one-hour fire rated barrier. The use of open flame heating devices inside saunas should be prohibited.
  • Never install additional benches or shelving over the heater.
  • Never install locking or latching devices on doors leading into saunas.
  • Heaters need to be equipped with an automatic high temperature shutoff switch to prevent overheating  the unit. The switch should never be bypassed or removed.
  • Check on sauna air inlets and outlets to verify they are clear and unblocked.
  • If you have a sprinkler system in your facility, consider having a licensed sprinkler contractor extend the sprinkler system to include the sauna interior. Sprinkler head designs for normal sauna temperatures are available.

This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage or guarantee loss prevention. The examples in this material are provided as hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations contained herein will make any premises, or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. By providing this information to you. The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC DEC 2018 14-93
171-0952 (12/13)