Public Service Announcement!

felonious69

Well-known member
In another thread here, I learned something that never would have occurred to me:
Bass drum needs to be elevated off the floor.
Another thing that never occurred to me:
We have pots in front of the house, with the "mulchy" type soil for tomatoes, green peppers, etc.
I was at work yesterday when I got called by my GF who told me about the fire!
Apparently, mulch has a tendency to "self-ignite"! It smolders and then possibly catches fire, which is why some guy driving by, looked and said "well that ain't right"! He pulled over and frantically knocked, rang and yelled. GF is having sciatica issues so that by the time she got to the door he had gotten the garden hose, and his wife was in the process of calling the fire department.
All said and done, since everything was "settled" I stayed at work. Of all the people there I told, ONLY ONE was aware that this can happen. It never occurred to me or the others.
The partially burned pot is about 20 inches in diameter, as was the one that completely burned up.
Our house has wood siding.
Just thought I might be able to make this occur to someone!IMG_20200904_155421.jpgIMG_20200904_155403.jpg
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
In another thread here, I learned something that never would have occurred to me:
Bass drum needs to be elevated off the floor.
Another thing that never occurred to me:
We have pots in front of the house, with the "mulchy" type soil for tomatoes, green peppers, etc.
I was at work yesterday when I got called by my GF who told me about the fire!
Apparently, mulch has a tendency to "self-ignite"! It smolders and then possibly catches fire, which is why some guy driving by, looked and said "well that ain't right"! He pulled over and frantically knocked, rang and yelled. GF is having sciatica issues so that by the time she got to the door he had gotten the garden hose, and his wife was in the process of calling the fire department.
All said and done, since everything was "settled" I stayed at work. Of all the people there I told, ONLY ONE was aware that this can happen. It never occurred to me or the others.
The partially burned pot is about 20 inches in diameter, as was the one that completely burned up.
Our house has wood siding.
Just thought I might be able to make this occur to someone!View attachment 95637View attachment 95638
Holy smoke @felonious69!! Are your drums ok??
 

felonious69

Well-known member
In another instance I watched a teenage boy with his skin melting off his wrists dive through a second story window to get out. Most of his large family did not survive...I HATE FIRE!
 

felonious69

Well-known member
I guess my phrasing was questionable...I don't want this to happen to anyone. I want it to "occur" to you in the interest of your safety.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
I’ve heard about this, but not being a gardener of any description helps...fire is no laughing matter. Really glad you guys are ok. (y)
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
That's weird. I know bales of hay can spontaneously combust from moisture, had no idea that mulch based potting soil does the same thing. Good to know.

I hate fire too. We had a chimney fire when I was like 4 or so. We were lucky and the house was okay. The alarm went off at like 1am. The house was full of smoke and the chimney was raging but the fire never left the chimney. We got lucky.
 
Glad it wasn’t more serious! Yes , In a big pot or pile or what have you that is pulpy,fibrous, woody material and dry and somewhat densely packed can self ignite. Either keep those pots damp or use potting soil ( or plain dirt) with ur favorite fertilizer and lightly mulch the top if they dry out fast as potted veggies tend to do . Ive seen it happen with peoples mulch piles when they’re packed and dry with no dampness . The heat and dryness of grass and other materials with just enough oxygen getting in the pile and the reaction caused with the breaking down of fibrous Woody material can be disastrous. I’ve seen it happen before and you’ve possibly saved someone some heartache in the future with this post ! Nice job ?? . Glad for you no one was hurt and damage wasn’t worse ??
 

felonious69

Well-known member
Until yesterday I never heard of this. All day I was thinking of the place I usually see mulch for sale...Big stacks of big bags by the gas pumps!
Always at gas stations!
 
Until yesterday I never heard of this. All day I was thinking of the place I usually see mulch for sale...Big stacks of big bags by the gas pumps!
Always at gas stations!

Although it’s possible those bags could catch it’s not likely . Too fresh, hasn’t started to break down yet and more air getting through due to being new . Conditions really have to be right for it to happen . Ie.... the breakdown of the material , temperature, strength of the sun , other organic material mixed it , dryness , and the depth it’s packed and other things I’m not thinking of now to make ... the perfect storm , so to speak . I remember rides in the country with my father and seeing mulch ( hay and grasses usually.... smoking in farmers fields or near country homes . I think it was a nitrogen build up from materials breaking down combined with heat and dryness that caused them to smoke ( smolder) from within but were damp enough in the outer layers that they didn’t catch . The piles were the size of Volkswagens . Where’s getagrippa? He can probably explain all this better than I lol ! But yeah , use dirt and a bit of mulch on top of the pots( thin ) layer , to hold moisture in em so they don’t dry up in ya or just keep em damp . Any maybe away from the house or other combustibles ??
 

felonious69

Well-known member
Just got back from Menards, where we got three new smoke detectors, a CO detector two fire extinguishers.
Then went and dropped off a 30 dollar Dunkin Donuts card at the fire station.
Then I hugged my drums and my guitars and amps...Oh and girlfriend, cats and dog.
 

felonious69

Well-known member
Although it’s possible those bags could catch it’s not likely . Too fresh, hasn’t started to break down yet and more air getting through due to being new . Conditions really have to be right for it to happen . Ie.... the breakdown of the material , temperature, strength of the sun , other organic material mixed it , dryness , and the depth it’s packed and other things I’m not thinking of now to make ... the perfect storm , so to speak . I remember rides in the country with my father and seeing mulch ( hay and grasses usually.... smoking in farmers fields or near country homes . I think it was a nitrogen build up from materials breaking down combined with heat and dryness that caused them to smoke ( smolder) from within but were damp enough in the outer layers that they didn’t catch . The piles were the size of Volkswagens . Where’s getagrippa? He can probably explain all this better than I lol ! But yeah , use dirt and a bit of mulch on top of the pots( thin ) layer , to hold moisture in em so they don’t dry up in ya or just keep em damp . Any maybe away from the house or other combustibles ??
Cool, but just to be extra safe, I'm just gonna syphon all of my gas out of the neighbor's car from now on.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Cool, but just to be extra safe, I'm just gonna syphon all of my gas out of the neighbor's car from now on.
Lol find a neighbor with an older Honda. There is a 17mm (maybe 19) drain plug on the bottom of the gas tank. No siphon required.
 
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