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Sponsored: Practical Charity comes clean on hand dryer decision

08 August 2013

A charity sent key staff members for a tour of high-street restrooms to test various high-spec hand dryers, before deciding the Jet Towel from Mitsubishi Electric was the one for its headquarters

Newcastle-based Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care supports chemotherapy and radiotherapy outpatients including providing staffed custom-made vehicles to transport them, free of charge, to and from hospitals in Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne.

Set up in 1989 by successful local businessman Brian Burnie, funding initially came from the group of commercial trading companies that he owned. In 2009 he sold Doxford Hall, his stately family home, and the associated luxury spa hotel and donated the proceeds to Daft as a Brush. The next year he changed his charity’s name to recognise a saying, popular from his childhood in the terraced streets near the world famous shipyards.

With the charity growing, a refitting of the headquarters has just been completed, including a refurbishment of the bathrooms.

When it came to selecting new hand dryers, several criteria were discussed. Trust Secretary Jean Ross explains: “As a charity we like to keep our overheads in control, so when we heard that hand dryers can use a lot of electricity we wondered if there were options for energy efficiency that still provided fast, effective drying. We soon found ourselves introduced to John Rowley of Mitsubishi Electric, whose Jet Towel seemed to fit the bill wonderfully.”

Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel represents a complete rethink of the conventional hand dryer design. Instead of using hot air to evaporate water from the hands, it generates a high-speed curtain of air that blows it off as droplets. Running from only 550 watts this requires only a fraction of the energy of a traditional dryer and is also therefore very ecological.

Another very important advantage of the Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel is its intrinsic hygiene. Water from people’s hands may contain bacteria. With Jet Towel this is directed straight into an integral drain, whereas with most other dryers it vaporises then condenses again as it cools or drips onto the floor.

When John visited Daft as a Brush he offered to set up a demonstration, but Jean, being practical and quick thinking, had a better idea. “I realised that Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towels were fitted in one of the upmarket department stores in town and that seeing them there in a ‘real’ installation would be best,” she says. “Racking my memory I was also able to identify other stores that had installed unusual dryers and send colleagues out on a tour with an assessment form to fill in en route.

“From this the Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel emerged as a clear winner, with most people noting its whisper quiet operation of only 58dB compared to the cacophony from other high speed dryers, as well as other advantages. And when Brian Burnie came down on the side of the Jet Towel we knew we did not have to deliberate any longer.”

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