Homeowners reminded to dispose of ashes properly following weeke - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Homeowners reminded to dispose of ashes properly following weekend house fire

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Springfield FD Springfield FD

A fire in Springfield caused by ashes from a fireplace thrown away inside a shed ignited and caused 100 thousand dollars in damage.

Today, firefighters are reminding people to get rid of ashes properly.

Firefighters said that you should always store ashes away from the home to prevent fires, and to keep ashes from wood stoves or your fireplace.

“Move them away from the house, away from garages. Make sure there are no leaves. This time of year and the last week with all the wind, they can pile up. Keep them away from leaves, anything that can ignite.”

With the wind as strong as it has been lately, it’s easy for any open barrel to topple over, spilling ashes and even igniting them.

Keeping a tight lid on a metal barrel is key to keeping them from flaring up again.

Plastic bags or barrels, even paper bags are a bad idea for preventing fire.

Metal barrels like this one are available at most hardware stores, and storing them away from the home is crucial.

“Some people store them on their back porch and that’s dangerous, because if it catches a wood deck it is going to get going right away, or if it’s under an overhang it can get the overhang going.”

Storing ashes on any flammable surface is not recommended.

And just because the fire has been out for a day, or the embers look like they are safe, that’s not always the case. Just shifting around the embers can make those small hot spots hotter.

“Even though they may have sat in your wood stove for 24 hours, there still could be embers deep inside and all it takes is a little breeze to get them going again.”

Chief Mottor told Western Mass News that any heating system, no matter what it is should be cleaned and inspected every year before you turn them on for the winter.

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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