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10 Ways to Avoid Shop Firescomments (31) February 2nd, 2010 in blogs
Shop fires seem to be everywhere: We got sad news last week that furniture maker Jon Brooks of New Hampshire lost his eclectic woodshop to fire. Last January we heard a similar refrain when furniture maker Mark Levin lost his woodshop and nine finished pieces in a shop fire. Ellis Walentine, host of Woodcentral.com, experienced a similar loss in 1999. And the list goes on... a quick Google search reveals more recent shop fires: in West Paris, Maine, Pocono township, Penn., Manilla, Ont., and so on.
Needless to say, woodworkers should pay CLOSE attention to fire dangers in the workshop.
To help with this we rounded up a list of ten safety tips--excerpted from former fire inspector Bruce Ryden's article Fire Safety in the Shop, from issue #174.
- Sweep up sawdust: It may seem like a real chore to sweep up a pile of wood chips or shavings after a long day working in the shop, but by cleaning up, you can remove the most manageable portion of the three elements needed to start a fire.
- Don’t smoke in the shop
- Don’t use torches or welding equipment
- Fix or replace power cords that are frayed, cracked, or otherwise not in great condition
- Secure all electrical connections tightly
- Dispose of oily rags properly to avoid spontaneous combustion (For more, read How to Safely (and not so safely) Dispose of Oil-Soaked Rags.)
- Be cautious of other potential sources of ignition like such as water heaters, furnaces, portable heaters, and electric fans
- Buy a heat detector
- Install a sprinkler system
- Keep at least one well-maintained, easily accessible, portable fire extinguisher in the shop. Keep it near an exit.
Do you have any fire prevention tips? Or shop fire tales that you want to tell? Post a comment below.
posted in: blogs, fire safety
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ABOUT YOUR SAFETY
Woodworking is a solitary hobby and it requires tools and techniques that are inherently dangerous. These two factors make workshop safety a top concern for any woodworker. When working in the shop it is important to protect your eyes, ears, and lungs, and take great care when using hand and power tools. These safety manuals prepared by the editors of Fine Woodworking provide the foundation of safety knowlege every woodworker should know.