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Rags soaked with stain caused house fire, state police rule

Brian Wendling

New member
We had the same thing happen to us . We did the underneath of this raised deck and the guys kept getting the stain dripping on their hands so they thought it would be a good idea to wrap rags around the end of the brush and down their hands. They finished and threw the rags in the back of the truck. Some lady drove by my shop and saw smoke out of the back of my truck, she called the fire department and they broke into the truck and blasted the hell out of it. When I got there I was so thankful, I could have lost it all we had powerwashers in the truck with gas and it was parked next to other trucks with gas and the shop. Wow I was lucky it did not blow.
 

topcoat

Contributing Member
As a painter, it is absolutely amazing to me that this continues to happen. What is so hard about filling a bucket with water and soaking spent rags? Ever see a 5 gallon bucket that was worth $250k?
 

topcoat

Contributing Member
That wasnt directed at you RSuds. Just a general reflection.

I find that if you give them a bucket labeled "Combustion Containment System" and remind them every single time they have rags and oil out, that they will use it. It helps to give it an important name and make it feel like a professional process. I have definitely found that saying: "Hey make sure you take care of the rags when you're done" does nothing to help the cause.
 

Rick Petry

New member
I personally know 2 contractors that have lost trucks, and 1 contractor that nearly lost his home due to spontaneous combustion from low flash point stain soaked rags and tarps. This is no joke, it happens. Know the stain product you are using and read the label!

Attached is a picture of the house Carlos posted. A lot more than incidental damage.
 

Attachments

topcoat

Contributing Member
Its even more difficult to deal with them on interior applications. A few years ago we purchased the little red fliptop fireproof containers. We quickly found that after a few rags you could smolder them inside the fireproof container and create a very distinctive odor while raising the outside temperature of the container to an untouchable level. They were cool looking and had a nice red paint job with professional looking labels.
 

Ken Fenner

Fuckhead
I got a call from some county inspector early last year. A customer had bought WoodZotic™ and hired a handyman to apply it. The genius puts the dirty rags in the bottom of a box, loosely piles other clean rags on top and puts the whole thing in the ladies garage and leaves the door open. If there was textbook lab experiment to induce spontaneous combustion, this was it. I had to fax over our MSDS and that was the end of it. Luckily the lady was home and quick response from the FD averted a posssible tragedy.
 

Carlos Gonzales

New member
I personally know 2 contractors that have lost trucks, and 1 contractor that nearly lost his home due to spontaneous combustion from low flash point stain soaked rags and tarps. This is no joke, it happens. Know the stain product you are using and read the label!

Attached is a picture of the house Carlos posted. A lot more than incidental damage.
I should say so....stain and rags DO NOT MIX!!!
 

chrishartje

Contributing Member
This happend here in fresno last night...Oiled rags....



A fire broke out just before midnight on Wednesday at Teriyaki Don. The popular Fresno lunch spot is located at Cedar and Herndon which is in North-East Fresno.

Neighbors in the area reported hearing an alarm. Not long after, the Fresno Fire Department arrived to find smoke coming from the building.

What had happened was that a pile of rags that were saturated in grease and oil had caught on fire. The damage to the restaurant was minimal.

The Fire Department suspect that the restaurant will reopen again as early as Thursday.
 

pascack

New member
I used to spray Zolatone, a laquer based multispec finish. On my first job feeling like a million bucks I was cleaning up, stuffed a handfull of dirty rags into a used 1 gal paint can, put the lid on it and heaved it into the garbage container out back. 5 mins later I realise I had a spray tip in that bucket. Up into the dumpster I go I grab the pail by the handlel, as I put it down onto the ground the lid pops off violently with flames. singed the hair on my head,eyelashes and all also gave me a slight burn on my face. Never will I ever make the mistake again. If it werent for the $25 spraytip I would have been liable for millions! and I was about to say screw it, because I made a ton of money on that job! "Who needs that tip"! pheoow that was a close one.
 
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