Uh oh. The local fire department just put out the fire that engulfed Doug’s truck. What happened?
Science happened. Doug left dirty rags soaked with deck oil in the back of his truck. His truck bed was basically an oven that had heat, no wind, dry air, and rags soaked in oil-based products. This is a dangerous combination. Since the rags were rolled into a ball, they can heat up and spontaneously ignite a fire. This chemical reaction is caused by the attempted evaporation that is created due to constricted airflow. That’s right, regardless of the outside temperature that day, this fire was the result of spontaneous combustion. In this case, a very large, and dangerous case of spontaneous combustion.
If Doug read the warning labels on his decking products, he would have known that the best way to handle used rags and brushes is to soak them in a metal bucket of water. What if you use, steel wool or any other material? It doesn’t matter, any waste soaked with oil-based products may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Again, to prevent accidents from occurring, you must properly dispose of all materials in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations.
We couldn’t be more serious about this…FOLLOW ALL CLEANING & DISPOSAL DIRECTIONS ON THE LABEL! Immediately after each use, place rags, steel wool or waste in a sealed, water-filled metal container. DO NOT throw away this waste like you would your normal, everyday trash. Call your local waste management department if you’re unsure how to dispose of the cans. You don’t want to get fined for improper disposal of chemicals.
Now, in all seriousness, this picture (aside from Doug) was not altered in anyway. An actual homeowner sent this to us because he wanted to let others know not to repeat his mistake. Thankfully, no one was hurt. But if you look at the surrounding area and the customer’s home, they were very, very lucky that all that was destroyed was the truck.
You can never be too careful.
Are there any other safety tips you’d like people to know about? Do you have pictures you’d like to share? Use the comment form below…