ously combust into fire.
Spontaneous combustion and chemi-
cal reactions are a major cause of fires
in the U.S., according to the National
Fire Protection Association. Spontane-
ous combustion occurs when an object
increases in temperature without pull-
ing in heat from its immediate area.
The group found that between 2005
and 2009, spontaneous combustion or
chemical reactions were responsible for
14,070 fires. Of these, 5,250 were outside non-rubbish fires and 4,460 were
outside rubbish-related fires.
Those rags should be stored in a
UL-certified or FM-approved metal can
that has a self-closing top on it so if they
do combust inside, the fire can’t escape.
Woodshops should have oily waste cans.
3. Storage of Flammables
In woodworking shops, solvents, lacquers
and thinners are nearly as common as
wood dust. Most people know to avoid
open flames when using these products,
but they can also prove to be dangerous
while simply sitting on the shelf. Without
proper storage, they can be exposed
to an ignition source or spontaneously
combust—fueling fatal fires.
To mitigate this risk, these items
should be stored in UL-certified or
FM-approved cabinets that are properly grounded. These cabinets have a
fire rating, so their doors are durable
and fire resistant. Consequently, if a
fire ignites in the cabinet, the cabinet
can contain the fire. These cabinets
are grounded to a piece of metal as
an additional safety measure, so static
electricity doesn’t build up inside and
serve as an ignition source for solvents,
thinners and lacquers.
Woodshops are also required to follow laws related to the proper disposal
of this hazardous waste and report
emissions according to state guidelines.
Like solvents, lacquers and thinners, solvent-based glue (commonly referred to
as red glue) can also be very dangerous