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What Should I Know About Sauna Safety?

By Bronwyn Harris
Updated Feb 17, 2024
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Saunas provide a variety of health benefits when they are used correctly. Whether you are using a sauna at a gym or health club or in a private residence, there are some safety considerations that are important for users of saunas. Saunas should always be wired by licensed electricians to make sure that the electrical system is safe as well.

Some sauna safety tips apply to sauna installation and setup. For example, sauna heaters should always have a guardrail installed around them to reduce the risk of burns or fire. There should never be any locking or latching device on the sauna door, to prevent people from getting trapped inside the sauna.

Saunas should always be vented to allow fresh air intake. Vents should be located on the wall beneath the heater as well as on the ceiling, for maximum sauna safety. Although this is not something that most gym or health club sauna users need to worry about, residential sauna owners should make sure that the air ends up being changed at least six times per day.

Sauna safety is especially important for people with certain physical conditions. Pregnant women — or even possibly pregnant women — should not use saunas unless their doctors approve the use, as high temperatures can cause fetal damage. People using prescription drugs should also consult their physician before entering a sauna, and saunas should never be used at the same time as recreational drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol. In addition, people who suffer from heart disease, diabetes, high or low blood pressure, or obesity should get medical advice before using a sauna.

If you are using a sauna and you feel dizzy, sleepy, or uncomfortable in any way, leave the sauna immediately. Overheating your body can cause hyperthermia, which can make someone unaware of being in danger. People with hyperthermia may pass out, fall asleep, or not think clearly enough to leave the sauna. To ensure sauna safety, it is a good idea to always have another person present, rather than using the sauna by yourself.

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Discussion Comments
By anon20089 — On Oct 25, 2008

I want to install a panic alarm in my Saunas / Steam rooms, what height should they be?

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