State Fire Marshal warns of fire risk with spring cleaning chemicals

Discarded materials can spontaneously combust

March 21, 2019 - 9:15 pm

( - Spring is in the air and with that comes spring cleaning and home improvement projects, but the State Fire Marshal’s office is warning the public of the dangers of the chemicals they may be using could be a fire risk.  Fire Marshal spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue says those chemicals including oil-based paints, stains, and varnishes could result in spontaneous combustion from discarded rags.

“When those chemicals are literally sitting there and working together with each other, they can heat up and spark and start a fire,” said Rodrigue.

Rodrigue says there are steps to take to reduce the risk of spontaneous combustion.

“Be mindful that when you are using these rags or towels or these kind of chemicals, when you are done, lay those out individually away from each other and not in direct sunlight.  Let them dry completely,” said Rodrigue.

Rodrigue says even after supplies have dried, it is still not recommended to store discarded materials indoors.

“You would still not want to leave them inside, whether that is in your home or in a garage.  We would still suggest laying them out, drying them out, then you can discard them in a container that is left outdoors,” said Rodrigue.

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