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Thread: Potential shop fire

  1. #1
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    Potential shop fire

    I was using the plasma cutter outside qnd when I do that I make it a point to wet down the geound under the cutting area. I also have a half dozen extinguishers scattered around the work area inside and outside. No issues cutting.

    I was inside the shop cleaning up the cut piece with a grinder. Same as I have done dozens of times. I walked around to check out some other work I was doing. On the ground behind where I was grinding was a paper towel smoldering. Luckily I saw it and it was not near any other combustible material.

    I usually make it a point to spend 15 to 20 minutes at the end of the day cleaning up the shop. I also use that time making sure nothing there are no issues like this.

    Be safe out there.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    Yes sir Pat. I do the same and return about a hour later to check again. I try to get torch work and welding done first . There's always more to do after that anyways. Those sparks can be a problem.
    Remote Jobsite work required a fire permit and dedicated fire watch. We were required to stop welding or use of open flame one hour before quitting for the day. Gotta play safe.

  3. #3
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    You could use my shop in a training course for 'what not to do'.. Hardly a week goes by without a flare up.
    "The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life." -Theodore Roosevelt

  4. #4
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    You could use my shop in a training course for 'what not to do'.. Hardly a week goes by without a flare up.
    Your place can't look any worse than Moto's. 🤣

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  5. #5
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    I have a few fire extinguishers scattered around my shop and one on the cart.
    I tend to weld in the cold weather, jacket cuffs get frayed and become tinder.
    I guess I need a smoke alarm watch.

  6. #6
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    I try to do the smoke watch thing after every cutting, welding, grinding session. Good for what ails you too to just set there and ponder for a half hour or so.
    "The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life." -Theodore Roosevelt

  7. #7
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    Spent Friday on fire restoration at a plant I work at sometimes. A nasty mess! Firemen put it out quickly, but water mixed with 480 volt three phase places water, and carbon inside every electrical component.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  8. #8
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    Two things drive me nuts in the shop... Rags on the floor and spray cans on the welding tables. There are others but those are my immedediate freakouts.

  9. #9
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    Two things drive me nuts in the shop... Rags on the floor and spray cans on the welding tables. There are others but those are my immedediate freakouts.
    Uhroh!!!

    Guilty
    "The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life." -Theodore Roosevelt

  10. #10
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    The metal filings around the grinders will ignite under the right conditions as well... same old story, properly dissociated with oxygen, almost anything will burn...
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  11. #11
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    I had a similar event 15 years ago with my first plasma cutter, some sparks found their way into a plastic crate that had some rags and buffing compounds in them for my bench polisher. I caught it right away and put the crate outside. This was mid day, I figured the danger was over but or some reason I decided to leave the crate outside over night. The next morning the crate was a pile of ashes. It smoldered for hours with no visible smoke. Had I not put it out side, that would have 100% been a garage fire, just a few feet from my bedroom.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    Shop rags are the worst. Stinking smoldering nasty smell. Then 15 minutes later you figure it out.
    "You can't out puke a buzzard"

  13. #13
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    Quote Originally Posted by Pipeliner View Post
    Shop rags are the worst. Stinking smoldering nasty smell. Then 15 minutes later you figure it out.
    even worse is when that smoldering rag is hanging out of your back pocket
    i.u.o.e. # 15
    queens, ny and sunny fla

  14. #14
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    I do the same thing. Did some grinding on a piece of metal, not too much and everything seemed fine. Went back 30 min. later and saw a little wisp of smoke. An old rag in the corner was slowly smoldering. Got it out and all was fine, but had I not checked, it would have been bad. I always come back and check everything. More than once I have been welding, finished up and gone in the house. Going back to check and got a bad feeling, because the neighbor was burning a brush pile and everything around smelled like smoke, glad it wasn't a fire in my stuff.

    It pays to go back and check the shop to make sure.
    2 years ago lightening struck the garage and we had to call the fire department. Only burned the roof, $3000.00 damage, lost anything plugged in (Battery chargers, radios, and the garage door opener). When not in use I unplug the welders for this reason. The lightening exploded an old antique Zenith radio that wasn't plugged in. It blew out chunks of 2 X4 stud where a receptacle was. Nothing like standing in a thunder storm spraying the water hose on the roof waiting on the fire department. They did a great job, didn't make a mess and got there quick.
    All fixed now.

    Dave

  15. #15
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    For some reason I had a box of fireworks placed under the bench grinder (temporarily) once. I heard a couple pops and smelled something like gun powder. Then finally realized what was going on. Luckilly it was only bottle rockets and a saturn missiles in the box, no mortars. Grabbed the box and threw it outside. Only a few packages of bottle rockets went off. lol
    12v battery, jumper cables, and a 6013.
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  16. #16
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    As part of my end of day procedures I unplug the welder and also blow it out with the shop vac.

    I usually end up turning off that breaker and the breaker for the air compressor.

    Part of that is so the compressor doesn't run by itself and part is in case of lightning.

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  17. #17
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    Got more than a dozen fire extinguishers around the walls and at each corner. Every once and a while I turn them over and tap them with a rubber mallet. The fire extinguisher guy said to do that.
    I bought a huge box of old extinguishers at a surplus sale because the state rotated them out after a certain amount of time. I took them to a guy that has a business filling extinguishers, and he swapped out the bad ones and filled them all for about $100.00. Cheap insurance.

    Dave

  18. #18
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    I was doing some grinding in front of my little shop, and there was a hefty plastic garbage drum, with a plastic liner in it nearby.

    I turned around, and the drum liner had engulfed in flames from a grinder spark that landed inside the drum 4 foot away.

    I was outside the shop, so I kicked the drum over, broke out the garden hose and put out the fire.



    I don't grind inside anymore. especially near a drum lined garbage can
    T man.


    15 + years working for myself, and by golly, I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up.

  19. #19
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    Does anyone use smoke alarms in their shop or would that be useless? Going off all the time with welding smoke etc? I got one for my garage shop, just haven't installed it yet.

  20. #20
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    No smoke detector but I have a carbon monoxide monitor in my shop since I have an overhead propane heater.


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    Miller Dynasty 200DX TIG
    Miller Spectrum 625 Plasma
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    www.psacustomcreations.com

  21. #21
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    Re: Potential shop fire

    Someone asked about being electrocuted in another post, but I think this is much more of a danger. At my old house I had a detached garage which I felt a lot safer using because it was not attached to my house. I moved and my new garage is part of my house. I keep my torch and all my flammables 25 feet away in a metal container that I welded together. I have to weld and grind in the garage because that is where my power outlets are located, but I try to do it outside when I can. The thing that catches fire the easiest is steel wool. I had some steel wool catch fire from a spark so I had to get rid of all my steel wool. When my shop is finally built, I plan on using sheet metal for the walls to reduce the risk of fire. Another risk not well appreciated is to use your old dryer connection or hot water heater for your 240 volt outlet. If the wires were only rated for 30 amps and someone puts a 50 amp circuit breaker on it and attaches a stick welder on it they can end up with an electrical fire when they overheat the wires running through the house.

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