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Thread: Fire safety

  1. #1

    Fire safety

    I am new to the forum and generally watch the turners threads but I started wondering about what people really do in their shops regarding storage of flammable compounds - so this seemed more appropriate to this section. Became more of interest with all the fires burning in the West this season...what do members do in their shops with all the flammable products- paints, stains, acetone, mineral spirits, gas for the mower, propane for the grill, brake cleaner etc etc etc. I know the experts say you should use a fire locker but does anyone actually do that?
    just curious
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    I don't have many flammables in my shop, but the few I do keep are in a metal cabinet. I also have a fire extinguisher readily available (near the door) I do not keep anything in my shop related to motor vehicles, although those things are in the adjacent garage bay at the end of the building in normal "approved" containers.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Clode View Post
    I am new to the forum and generally watch the turners threads but I started wondering about what people really do in their shops regarding storage of flammable compounds - so this seemed more appropriate to this section. Became more of interest with all the fires burning in the West this season...what do members do in their shops with all the flammable products- paints, stains, acetone, mineral spirits, gas for the mower, propane for the grill, brake cleaner etc etc etc. I know the experts say you should use a fire locker but does anyone actually do that?
    just curious
    Jeff
    Most of what I use are smaller metal cans in a metal cabinet near the lathes. Gallon cans are stored elsewhere. Gasoline for the weed whackers/chainsaws/leaf blowers is stored outside on a metal rack. Full cans of fuel are stored in a concrete bunker away from the barn or in a fuel tank made for that. Spray cans of brake cleaner, etc. are stored on a shelf.

    I have multiple fire extinguishers in house, barn, and shop. I've probably spent $1000 on commercial fire extinguishers - don't waste money on little disposable non-refillable extinguishers from Home Depot.

    Fire safety: turn off air compressor when leaving the shop. A friend's shop burned when a problem caused the big compressor to run continuously while he was away.

    JKJ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    I think an old refrigerator would make a pretty good flammable storage locker. Especially an old one with all metal interior and no plastic.
    BillD

  5. #5
    Flammables are stored in a metal cabinet. Not fire-rated but, better than in the open. This also allows protection from light as I mix a lot of my own finishes and store them in mason jars.

    A fire extinguisher at every exit. I figure if I get to the extinguisher and decide I am over-matched, I want to be by the exit

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Clode View Post
    gas for the mower, propane for the grill, brake cleaner etc etc etc.

    None of these are allowed in the shop. I have heard that some people keep motor cycles, ride on mowers, snowmobiles and even cars in their garages . . . madness!!!
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 08-10-2018 at 7:49 AM.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  6. #6
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    A fire extinguisher at every exit. I figure if I get to the extinguisher and decide I am over-matched, I want to be by the exit
    That's a good point. I've never thought of it that way but mine are right by the doors too.

    Another thing about shop safety, not necessarily related to fire, though: emergency lighting fixtures are cheap, at least at my local supplier. Those I have connect to shop wiring and turn on bright lights if the power fails. (Might not be much use to those who turn off the maid breaker when they leave the shop.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Clinton Township, MI, United States
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    Put a fire extinguisher at the far end from the door, not so much to put out the fire, but to get YOU out!
    From the workshop under the staircase, Clinton Township, MI
    Semper Audere!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    central tx
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Most of what I use are smaller metal cans in a metal cabinet near the lathes. Gallon cans are stored elsewhere. Gasoline for the weed whackers/chainsaws/leaf blowers is stored outside on a metal rack. Full cans of fuel are stored in a concrete bunker away from the barn or in a fuel tank made for that. Spray cans of brake cleaner, etc. are stored on a shelf.

    I have multiple fire extinguishers in house, barn, and shop. I've probably spent $1000 on commercial fire extinguishers - don't waste money on little disposable non-refillable extinguishers from Home Depot.

    Fire safety: turn off air compressor when leaving the shop. A friend's shop burned when a problem caused the big compressor to run continuously while he was away.

    JKJ
    What fire extinguishers do you use?

  9. #9
    I have 6 in my shop on all posts, wet sprinklers, emergency lighting above doors. I am bouncing if the sprinklers go off, out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Crawford View Post
    What fire extinguishers do you use?
    I buy whatever the local industrial/commercial fire extinguisher service company provides. The two large ones in the house say Ansul Sentry. I think a couple of smaller extinguishers in the house say SentryPro, I didn't look at those in the shop and barn. I keep them in kitchen, laundry, and garage, sometimes two in one spot. I use a bright red sign on the wall above the extinguishers: https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail...dhesive-Backed

    I use dry chemical, inspected periodically. Some I bought new but prefer used if I can get them. I prefer the 20lb but also keep a 10lb extinguishers in the same locations since some people have trouble lifting the larger ones.

    The small, cheap disposable extinguishers available from retail stores don't have much capacity, have plastic valves that can't be refilled, and seem more likely to leak the propellant pressure. I do have some in the vehicles.

    JKJ

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    A question for non west coast folks here . Can you even buy the eave vents which block blown embers from getting into your attic? In my town they are special order. But, I belive, they are required by code up higher where fires are a problem.
    Bill D.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Canton, MI
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    481
    Wood Finishing Guide has an article on building a fire cabinet from wood...they claim it has a better fire rating than the metal ones. I've been tempted to build one. For now, multiple extinguishers (CO2 next to the CNC), emergency lighting, and a fire can for rags is it.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by mike holden View Post
    Put a fire extinguisher at the far end from the door, not so much to put out the fire, but to get YOU out!
    Mike makes a great point. I have exits at each end so I'm covered. For those of you that have a "far end" without an exit, I would definitely follow Mike's advice.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  14. #14
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    For those of you that have a "far end" without an exit, I would definitely follow Mike's advice.
    Yikes, I can't imagine designing a building with a "far end without an exit". Unless the far end is underground perhaps an emergency exit window could be added.
    My 62' long shop has man-doors at both ends, several rollup doors, and in the middle has two double steel doors to the exterior.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2010
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    LA & SC neither one is Cali
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    ............................

    5,306 miles from where the greatest things with 4 wheels are born
    5,328 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels are born
    5,301 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels and a band are born
    Seems to be more than a coincidence to me...

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