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Thread: Fire by ashes

  1. #1
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    Smile Fire by ashes

    Last edited by Darren Miller; 02-08-2011 at 09:21 AM.
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    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  2. #2
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    Cool Re: Fire by ashes

    LOL. Happens all too often-people put ashes into paper bags instead of a metal bucket with a tight fitting lid. They place the bag in the garage or out on a balcony with it ignites the bag then the house. Ashes can keep a coal hot for about a day.
    Too bad this reporter failed to post the followup advice for how to prevent such a fire.
    Thx Darren--approved;-)

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fire by ashes

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Miller View Post
    Just to inform Bob of why I'm posting this one; it's so people know to wait until the ashes have cooled COMPLETELY before removing them.

    Fire destroys Washington Township home; fireplace ashes blamed | Daily Record | dailyrecord.com
    No, and your statement that ashes or embers cannot be removed from the fireplace or appliance prior to the ashes and embers being completely cooled is wrong as well. Warm/Hot Ashes can be carefully and safely removed from the firebox or ash dump well before four days using proper safety techniques and materials/tools.

    The cause of the fire was they unsafely transported improperly contained or stored the collected ashes/coals/embers IN THE GARAGE to cool! (instead of outdoors, away from all hazards and structures, wetted/soaked in a properly contained safe closed metal container).

    NEVER EVER store or dispose of firebox ashes in the garage, period.

    Irresponsible homeowners!!!

    Has relatively nothing to do with a ridiculously fictionally long waiting period after use of the fireplace or stove to remove ashes, and everything to do with a FAILURE to use the correct equipment to gather and safely prepare, transport the ash from the firebox, contain it and to responsibly and safely LOCATE/PLACE/CONTAIN it to a proper location for cooling, and monitor same!

    Many people STILL do not realize the length of time required for ashes to cool.

    Fires that involve ashes that reportedly had cooled for up to 24 hours account for over 60% of the incidents. Fires that involved ashes cooled for up to 72 hours account for as much as 10%. Coals or embers can remain hot for a long time. Four days (96 hours) is the MINIMUM cooling period for SOAKED ashes.

    Homeowners often use inappropriate containers to collect, transport, and store insufficiently cooled ashes, such as: Paper bag as initial container for ash; plastic trash can or bucket as the initial container for their ashes - 25%+!; Cardboard box as initial container for firebox ashes; even those who use a proper ash bucket at the fireplace may place same (uncovered! or covered) in an inappropriate location, or store in a metal trash can in or near the home/garage/shed! This is very UNSAFE.

    When cleaning fireplace or stove (wood, pellet, corn, etc.):
    - Always place discarded fireplace ashes in a heavy metal container, moisten ashes and cover the container with a tight fitting metal lid.

    NEVER USE: A PAPER BAG; CARDBOARD BOX; NOR PLASTIC trash bag, bucket, or can in the cleaning process. Never use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes.
    Ashes should be kept in a metal covered metal container OUTSIDE, AWAY FROM THE HOUSE, structures, hazards, to cool. Your garage, house, shed, porch or deck (on or under!) ARE DANGEROUS LOCATIONS FOR ASHES TO COOL. After ashes have cooled in a metal container, it is necessary to find a suitable disposal site. NEVER DUMP COLLECTED FIREPLACE ASHES UNTIL THEY HAVE HAD AT LEAST FOUR DAYS (96 hrs.) TO COOL (post-collection or use). Even after four days, GREAT CARE should be given in selecting a dump site. Ashes must be checked/stirred checking for hot spots before any dumping takes place. Wooded areas should always be avoided. Frankly, disposal shouldn't be attempted for a week.

    Always inspect the dumped ashes, and moisten the dump area of the discarded properly pre-cooled ashes.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-08-2011 at 10:54 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fire by ashes

    HG, good info... to post on a site frequented by the gen pop.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fire by ashes

    Apparently there are quite a few people who don't know that embers can remain hot long after the fire is out. Every winter in Colorado Springs I hear about one or more fires caused by someone who has a fire, puts the ashes in a cardboard box the next morning and places the box on the wood deck or balcony. Before long an ember ignites the box which ignites the deck/balcony and the fire spreads to the house or apartment.

    People do other dumb things around fireplaces. How about the guy in Colorado Springs in December who decided to clean his fireplace with an aerosol cleaner - with a fire burning in the fireplace? (He suffered burns to his hands and face.) Or the Atlanta woman who wanted to hang Christmas stockings on the mantle above the fireplace with her young daughter beside her? She couldn't find a hammer so she used a can of spray paint to drive in the nails - with a fire burning in the fireplace. Naturally, the nail head punctured the can and they were engulfed in a fireball.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fire by ashes

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    No, and your statement that ashes or embers cannot be removed from the fireplace or appliance prior to the ashes and embers being completely cooled is wrong as well. Warm/Hot Ashes can be carefully and safely removed from the firebox or ash dump well before four days using proper safety techniques and materials/tools.
    HG;

    Show me where I used the word 'cannot' or "never".

    The article speaks for itself while I was having fun with Bob about my posting it. Care is needed whenever dealing with fire, a fireplace, a wood-burning stove or the components that go along with such appliances

    Geez, my best guess is your were/are a PE; you know someone who needs all the i's dotted and t's crossed while us 'regular' folk used the letters PE for 'practical experience'.

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fire by ashes

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Miller View Post
    HG;

    Show me where I used the word 'cannot' or "never".
    I don't have to, I didn't say you used either word.

    What YOU did SAY was:

    why I'm posting this one; it's so people know to wait until the ashes have cooled COMPLETELY before removing them.
    Which is of course, WRONG, and frankly downright silly. The "lesson to be learned" from the news story is to not DISCARD, store or transport less-than-fully-cooled-ashes in an unsafe manner, and "in the garage" is not equal to OUTSIDE.

    Geez, my best guess is your were/are a PE; you know someone who needs all the i's dotted and t's crossed while us 'regular' folk used the letters PE for 'practical experience'.
    The personal jabs and your/their inappropriateness aside, if you are endeavoring to post in a technical topic area of the forum, expect technical topical replies. You shouldn't have to "guess" (hint: profile), and I am not the ONLY engineer who has commented on your topic.

    See stored ashes in a home inspection REPORT IT and warn the occupant - its a potential DANGER - the home (or its occupants) might not survive the next door opening following your departure, let alone the closing process.

    Statistically "about a day" (reported by occupants) cooling time for ashes source 60%+ incidents; "three days cooled" (as reported) approx 10% of such incidents.

    There are more appropriate areas of the forum for news, general chit-chat, and non-technical discussion topics, etc.

    Blame the ashes in the headline, now that's funny. Note the ammended story closes with: "Detectives from Washington Township police and the Morris County Prosecutor's Office are investigating."

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-08-2011 at 12:54 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fire by ashes

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    No, and your statement that ashes or embers cannot be removed from the fireplace or appliance prior to the ashes and embers being completely cooled is wrong as well.
    Here; I'll dot the 'i' for you!
    Look at the 9th word in the above quoted sentence.

    CANNOT

    I never read your profile; your writing says it all.

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fire by ashes

    No, not a PE, an academic with absolutely no "Practical Experience", or manners, for that matter.


  10. #10
    Dale W. Feb's Avatar
    Dale W. Feb Guest

    Question Re: Fire by ashes

    As an investigator, we should never rule out arson. These are hard times and people do silly things when placed under pressure.

    Just some fuel for thought.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Fire by ashes

    Old folks would remember the use of "ash cans". Still a good idea. Operative word is can as in metal.


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