Please go to garage journal.com and see the front page story on a shop fire the owner had
A wakeup call to all of us.
I think if each of us would take a good look around our work area we might find something that might need a change. i always have a fear of spontaneous combustion, thats why i always put my paint and solvent rags in a metal container outside every day. i'm still gonna take another look around my garage. Ken
Been changing out the rear end in my TT, creating LOTS of oily rags.
If they are more grease than rag, they go in the woodstove and help
with the fire.
If they have a little more wiping life, they get hung on anything that
sticks out far enough to get air all through them. Spontaneous comb-
-ustion occurs from heat generated by the wadded up rag and the de-
-composition of the oils in/on them.
Just a matter of common sense and understanding the threat.
A nice video, well done. And, yes, he was VERY lucky!
That is one hell of a wakeup call.... Thanks for posting
Rags soaked with Linseed oil can most certainly spontaneously combust. Motor oil? I ain't too worried about.
Another situation where the Guardian Angels were working overtime
Here's an article that lists affected materials to be concerned about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_combustion
Another situation where the Guardian Angels were working overtime
Wow....that was terrifying to watch.
The wikipedia list mentions hay.
A co-worker loaded plastic garbage bags of grass clippings into her garage since she was having a garden party on the weekend.
Her husband lost his Mustang in the resulting fire.
My first job in custom furniture was learning how to hand sand. My cabinet maker took a rag with Watco soaking it waded it up stuck it out in the sun. In a few minuets it smoked then burned. ANYTHING WITH LINSEED OIL IN IT IS DANGEROUS FOR SELF COMBUSTION. Over the years in disaster restoration business I seen things like a cover all with linseed oil soaking catch fire in the painters van. A friend lost his new never lived in home and his plane in the garage by leaving linseed oil rags in an open container while doing finish work in there home.
Spontaneous combustion is a term applied to various forms of self ignition. Self ignition can occur in several ways, dampened vegetable products that include oils (vegetable not mineral) wet wood products such as hog fuel, damp hay and grass. Ordinary lawn grass within an hour of being cut while decomposing can reach temperatures as high as 130 degrees f, hot enough to burn your hand. I placed a thermometer in the composted grass and 130 was the limit. For several nights a coyote slept on top of the compost to keep warm. Chemical mismatches, magnification of the sun, friction, and pyrolysis are also common forms of self ignition. Pyrolysis will escape most fire investigators as it can manifest over several time frames, it can happen in hours, days months or years. The one common denominator with pyrolysis is the energy must be on or applied to complete the process. Magnification of the sun may only happen at a very specific time frame and is difficult to determine because by the time the investigation is conducted the scene has changed. Common chemical mismatches such as, again vegetable oils such as used in various fast foods restaurants and non fast food restaurants. Spontaneous fires will occur when cotton or linen towels, aprons and floor mops are used to wipe up spilled cooking oil then soaked in hot water with bleach added. When slightly wrung out and placed in a rack to dry can self ignite, several restaurants have been consumed this way. The action requires the hot water to jump start the process.
Generally in our work shops most operations that we do should not be a concern, mineral oils will not self ignite, only vegetable oils. When using any vegetable oil products with rags when finished place open on the cement floor until they are dry, when dry they become stable again. If you are unsure of the product place it open on the floor until dry, make it a habit. I was a fire investigator for 40 years and I have seen homes, motor homes, cars, boats, barns, marinas, restaurants destroyed in to the millions of dollars because of the various forms of self ignition. In your shop you should have a metal waste container with a tight fitting lid (not plastic). There is also the action of a carelessly discarded cigarette in waste containers it is not common but it does happen. There is an exception in wood working shops where sawdust can ignite but technically not spontaneously but from a spark where possibly a nail or grit is struck. If cutting has been done it is a good policy to clean and remove the sawdust or at least take a good look before retiring.
I make it a habit to wait at least a half hour after i've stopped work, specially when i've done some welding,grinding or other job that involves heat.I just have a last cup of coffee and after that make a last round of the workshop before i close the shop and leave.
Yet, the guy appears to have purchased a NEW plastic rubbish bin..
All my sketchy rags get tossed out on the gravel driveway.
I hope none of use ever have to suffer a fire loss..
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE.
Very nice short write-up David M! Thank you.
My wake up call was almost forty years ago. Family was coming for a visit. The day before, I mowed the lawn, and as not usual for me, raked it, and placed the majority of the grass cuttings in a nearly new galvanized garbage can, and put the lid on top. Left it in the middle of the yard (I knew enough to not put it anywhere near flammable buildings). The next morning, as I finished cleanup for company, I discovered the can was smoking! I had to hose down the lid and can to cool it down enough to grab the lid (very tight) off and flood the can with water. I don't know if anyone visiting saw the burned circle in the lawn or not.
Over the many years since, I have seen many examples of various unintentional ignition, both professionally, and as a hobbyist. a person could become so paranoid over such things that they could become unable to function on a normal daily basis. However, one should develop a good sense of reasonable care and watch for many of the more common potential risks. Good habits in rag disposal, and chemical mixing (DON"T unless you know what you are doing), and keeping flammable chemicals away from burnable structures and storage, are all good habits.
Welding, and anything that causes sparks are other danger zones. I once started a fire on a wooden workbench while doing some heavy duty grinding! (Fortunately, I was prepared and more or less expected it might do that under the circumstances.)
Leo vS, I too hang around the shop doing clean up or light work for a bit after any spark related work.