A sauna is a small, sealed room, typically constructed of wood, designed to safely increase the 
user’s body temperature through a combination of heat and wellcontrolled 
humidity. Saunas 
are used recreationally and therapeutically, as users find them relaxing and healthpromoting. 
Facts and Figures 
One of the earliest sauna designs is the smoke sauna, in which stones warm the room after 
being heated by a fire, which is extinguished before the room is ready for bathers. The smoke is 
vented from the sauna, but its aroma lingers. The concept was nearly abandoned but has seen 
a revival over the past few decades. 
Safety Tips 
“Sauna” is the only Finnish word in the English dictionary. Traditionally, the Finns used the 
sauna as a place to clear the mind, give birth, and prepare the dead for burial. They were not 
used for weight loss or as part of an exercise regimen, which are newer concepts for their use 
Saunas can be divided into two basic styles: 
o infrared saunas directly warm 
occupants and other objects (much like the sun) using charcoal or other objects; and o 
conventional saunas heat the room indirectly by warming the air. 
Saunas stimulate the cardiovascular system and should not be used by anyone with high blood 
pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or while under the use of antibiotics or other drugs. 
Never stay in a sauna longer than 30 minutes. While it may be fun to see who can stay in the 
sauna the longest, this sort of game is extremely dangerous and has led to injury and even 
death. One experienced sauna devotee died in a sauna competition in August 2010. 
Never wear jewelry in the sauna, as the metal and stones may heat up and burn exposed skin. 
Use a towel as a barrier between yourself and the seat in a public commercial sauna to protect 
yourself against disease. Strains of antibioticresistant 
bacteria, known collectively as methicillinresistant 
Staphylococcus aureus, have been shown to inhabit excessively humid and poorly 
cleaned public saunas and steam rooms. Reducing the humidity can also control the risk of 
Children should not use saunas because their immature bodies and metabolism have trouble 
to stave off hyperthermia. 
Recommended Sauna Design Features 
Adequate ventilation is perhaps the most overlooked sauna design feature. Outgoing ventilation 
expels stale air and reduces humidityspawned 
mildew and moisture, which can cause wood 
decay. Incoming ventilation brings in fresh air, ensuring the safety and comfort of the users. 
Saunas typically have a vent behind the stove and another on the opposite wall near the ceiling. 
While the sauna may vent to the outside of the building, this is not required in residential 
saunas, and many systems utilize interior ventilation to heat the adjacent living space. 
Some other essential design features include the following: 
The sauna should be regularly inspected for mildew and wood decay around its exterior. 
In summary, saunas are sealed, heated rooms used for therapeutic purposes and relaxation, 
but they must be used and maintained properly to ensure the health and safety of their users. 
Home Security 
There are a number of measures that homeowners can take to ensure that their homes are not 
attractive to burglars. 
Freestanding saunas must have a solid foundation. 
Sauna doors should be sealed and insulated. 
The sauna door should swing outward and should not be equipped with a latching mechanism. 
If the user is in distress, he should be able to easily push his way out of the sauna. 
Saunas should be constructed from a decayresistant 
species of tree, such as cypress, 
redwood, spruce, cedar, or Douglas fir. 
Any electrical wiring should be moistureproof 
and able to resist high temperatures. 
Metal, especially screw heads, should not be exposed where people sit, lean or walk. Metal will 
get excessively hot and could burn exposed skin. 
The ceiling height should be between 61/2 to 71/2 feet, but not higher, as heat will uselessly pool 
above the user’s head. Also, undue stress will be placed on the heater, which will be forced to 
work harder to heat the room. 
The temperature should not exceed 195° F, as recommended by the Underwriters Laboratories. 
Saunas heated by woodburning 
stoves may be capable of exceeding this temperature, but this 
is not advisable, as it can endanger the users' safety. Saunas that utilize excessive amounts of 
steam should be set to a lower temperature, as wet heat can cause scalding. 
The floor can be made from concrete, vinyl or tile, but not carpet, which will deteriorate from the 
heat and humidity and create moisturecaused 
health hazards. Carpet is also a fire hazard. 
To best utilize the space and to achieve a balanced temperature throughout the sauna, the 
shape of the sauna room should be nearly square.