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Oily rags/ fire danger

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Whether you are using a wood stain or an oil such as linseed oil, make sure you store your oily rags properly if the oil is combustible. Read the can of oil before using it to make sure that you know how to properly store your used rags. Just a few days ago by brother went to a barn fire. It turned out that the guy who owned the barn was redoing it and left his staining rags on the floor of the barn. The rags combusted and the barn burnt to a crisp. You don't want your shop to end up like this barn! Be careful! 

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rag used with linseed should be treated with care, if crumpled up and exposed to the air linseed ( and probably others too ) will generate heat and combust.

dispose of away from anything flammable, laid out flat it will dry with less concentration of heat

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1 hour ago, Forging Carver said:

Yeah. If you want to be extra safe store the rags in a metal container that has a lid.

Yup and store it outside if you can, found mine in a commercial shop had got bumped and the lid wasn't set all the way down and puff it caught fire one day lucky for us during working hrs.  We then put a metal spring holder on it and it went outside.  We put it out with the hose from the wash rack, really hated to call the fire department, I was Chief at the time never would have heard the end of that one. 

Now in the Fire Department that barn fire was what we called "Worth going to"  something one could sink their teeth into esp. on a -25F middle of the night  run. 

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Yeah most of the calls are cruddy. Smell of a natural odor, steam from a shower, activated fire alarm. Most guys only respond when it is a reported structure fire.

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57 minutes ago, Forging Carver said:

Yeah most of the calls are cruddy. Smell of a natural odor, steam from a shower, activated fire alarm. Most guys only respond when it is a reported structure fire.

Yup esp when they keep coming from the same locations.  We had a Tepee fire one night on the side of a hill and everyone turned out for that one just to see what was going on, even had other departments calling asking if we needed Mutual Aid.  A neighbor called in a smoke seen coming from a barn one cold night, turned out to be steam from a large pile of Horse Manure behind the barn, 4 trucks, 30 men funnier now than it was then!

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7 hours ago, notownkid said:

Yup esp when they keep coming from the same locations.  We had a Tepee fire one night on the side of a hill and everyone turned out for that one just to see what was going on, even had other departments calling asking if we needed Mutual Aid.  A neighbor called in a smoke seen coming from a barn one cold night, turned out to be steam from a large pile of Horse Manure behind the barn, 4 trucks, 30 men funnier now than it was then!

Yeah a lot of people are helpless. I mean it is good to be safe than sorry, but there's a line to that. My brother and dad go on calls becuase people set their alarms off becuase of shower steam or cooking steam. Things like that just waste the fire departments time, especially the volunteers. 

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8 hours ago, seldom (dick renker) said:

i always tried to talk the chief into letting it burn itself out

We had a barn fire one night -25F & wind and we were standing as close to the fire as possible to stay warm trying hard not to get the "wet stuff on the red stuff " there was one shed with firewood in it that was burning, we waited till the last few minutes to put it out.  We had three fire trucks frozen to the road in a foot of ice.  Volunteerism at it's fullest.

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i've had cloths with danish oil on spontaneously combust in the past.  These days anything that is flammable (like danish/linseed oils, stains, cleaning fluids) is applied with a tissue/paper towel and then burnt once I'm done. That way there is no chance of it going up on it's own accord ;)

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My last big fire was a mechanics and body shop that went up in the middle of a freezing Vermont winter night. Lots of paint, acetylene, etc. Good clean fun. The tricky bit was that the shop was about six feet from the house, so we did everything we could to save that one wall and keep the fire from jumping next door.

When I was a woodworker (and for the bits of woodfinishing I do now), the rule for oily rags was always "In metal you hide, or you dry outside."

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