Happy Monday, neighbors! Recently the Shrewsbury Hose Company responded to a report of a fire at a house in town. It was originally dispatched as a “mulch fire in the landscape bed,” but when we got there we found a plastic garbage bag on fire. We determined that the flooring refinisher put the wood dust from the sander in a plastic garbage bag and then threw an empty can of mineral spirits in the bag as well. As the bag sat in the warm sun, the wood dust heated up enough to ignite and the ensuing fire spread to a shrub. Luckily a neighbor saw the smoke and reported the fire right away. However, had that bag been inside the garage or behind the house against a deck or other structure, there could have been a disaster.
According to a study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), spontaneous combustion causes around 14,070 fires in the United States each year. Oil-soaked rags are listed among the most common items first ignited to cause the fire, constituting 35% of the items first ignited to cause these destructive fires.
Combustion happens when a material reacts with oxygen and gives off heat. A spark or flame can ignite explosively, i.e., spontaneously, when introduced to an area where certain vapors or fine powders are mixed with air in a certain concentration. Wood floor finishes often have low flash points, which makes them prone to igniting spontaneously.
Sawdust is a material that is prone to spontaneous combustion, and the risk of spontaneous combustion from sawdust increases when doing refinishing work due to the presence of finish and possibly other volatile solvents in the sawdust.
Some risk factors for spontaneous combustion include:
• Oil-based products such as floor finish, sealer, primer, paint shellac, linseed oil, paint thinner, turpentine, mineral spirits and denatured alcohol
• Any wiping cloth, rag, towel, drop cloth, steel wool or piece of work clothing that has come into contact with a solvent-based material. 100% cotton rags are particularly prone to spontaneous combustion
• Warm environments
How can you prevent these incidents from happening? Here are some tips:
• Safe disposal of your rags and other things that have come into contact with solvent-based products is key. DO NOT simply toss your used rags into a trash can or plastic bucket.
• Spread out your rags to dry so that they can release heat without as much of a risk of catching on fire. The key here is to make sure there is space in between them, so spreading them out is a must––do not ball them up. The finish must be completely cured before final disposal of the rags. Spraying them with water once the solvents on the rags are cured can be taken as an extra, precautionary step before final disposal.
• One of the safest methods of disposing of oil-soaked or solvent-soaked rags is to cover them with water in a closed metal container. You will have to find some way to dispose of the water properly since it will be contaminated, but this is among the safest methods of preventing spontaneous combustion of soaked rags.
• Keep a fire extinguisher handy in case something spontaneously combusts and you catch it in time to put out the fire.
• Ensure that you or your contractor are disposing of construction waste and debris properly and safely.
Please be safe, and know that we're here if you need us.
50 entries in the News
Good morning neighbors! The Ladies Auxiliary of the Shrewsbury Hose Co. #1 is launching their annual Bicycle Safety Program today. If one of the Shrewsbury Police Officers or the Fire Chief sees a child riding their bicycle safely and wearing a helmet, the child will be given a coupon for a free Kid’s Bowl from Frutta Bowl in The Grove. This is the first year that the Ladies Auxiliary has teamed up with Frutta Bowl, and we all look forward to a fantastic new partnership! This program began...
Happy Monday, neighbors! Recently the Shrewsbury Hose Company responded to a report of a fire at a house in town. It was originally dispatched as a “mulch fire in the landscape bed,” but when we got there we found a plastic garbage bag on fire. We determined that the flooring refinisher put the wood dust from the sander in a plastic garbage bag and then threw an empty can of mineral spirits in the bag as well. As the bag sat in the warm sun, the wood dust heated up enough to ignite a...
Good Morning neighbors! Last evening, members of Shrewsbury Hose Co. #1 attended the grand opening of Chelsea at Shrewsbury, a brand new senior living facility at the corner of Shrewsbury and Patterson Ave. We want to welcome Rich Johnson, the Executive Director, and his team to Shrewsbury and we wish them great success!During last evening’s event, Dave Ennis and Scott Stewart from Chelsea Senior Living presented Chief John Merris with an incredibly generous donation! The money donated wil...
At approximately 19:30 hrs Saturday night members respond to a vehicle versus structure call. Upon arrival members encountered a vehicle into the side of a residential home. The home suffered some structural damage but fortunately no one was home at the time. No injuries were reported including the driver of the vehicle.
Shrewsbury Hose Co. #1is proud to announce it's Officers for 2019.Line Officers:Chief - John J. Merris1st Asst. Chief - Edward Magenheimer2nd Asst. Chief - Peter GibsonChief Engineer - John P. Merris1st Asst. Engineer - Ron Neis2nd Asst. Engineer - Bob Wentway3rd Asst. Engineer - Mike Ernst Executive Officers:President - Peter MeyerVice President - Bob WentwaySecretary - Noelle TylerTreasurer - Brent MacConnell
Recently the Shrewsbury Hose Co. sponsored a Mass Casualty Incident Drill with our surrounding mutual aid companies and surrounding EMS squads. The scenario simulated a train accident with multiple school buses involved and numerous casualties. Members trained on vehicle stabilization, extrication, suppression, patient triage and care. We would like to thank all departments involved for a fantastic response and an excellent day of training.
On Sunday March 18th the Red Bank Fire department invited our members to participate in a vacant structure drill. Members performed ladder operations, ventilation techniques and forcible entry. Members from the Little Silver Fire Department were also in attendance. Our members continue to train to provide the best possible service to our community. This exercise also shows the continued work with our mutual aid companies.
The members of the SHC #1 recently trained on Natural Gas Operations with instructors Curt Thompson and Jeff Zientek from Federal Resources Hazmat IQ. It was a very informative class with hands on experience. The members are constantly training to improve our skills, to protect life and property of all of Shrewsbury's residents and visitors.
50 entries in the News