Flammable Liquid & Oily Rag Safety
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Even More Safety Tips
How Can Oily Rags Start a Fire?
The oils commonly used in oil-based paints and stains release heat as they dry. If they’re thrown into a pile, oxygen is trapped underneath. The combination of heat, oxygen and the cloth can lead to spontaneous combustion, which results in a fire that could destroy your home.
How Can Flammable Liquids Start a Fire?
Vapours from flammable and combustible liquids can ignite, causing a fire. There are many commonly used flammable liquids including gasoline, paints and laquers. Examples of combustible liquids include paint thinner, stains and kerosene.
How to Store & Dispose of Oily Rags:
- Never leave wet rags in a pile. Used rags should be spread out in a safe area to dry and weighed down so they don’t blow away.
- Store the dry rags in ULC certified, non-combustible metal container with a self-closing lid. Fill the container with a water and detergent solution which will break down the oils.
- Keep containers of oily rags in a cool place out of direct sunlight, and away from any heat sources. Check with your city or municipality for disposal instructions.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Since manufacturers use different oils in their products, it’s important to follow their warnings and disposal instructions.
Flammable & Sombustible Liquid Safety
- Flammable and combustible liquids should not be used near an open flame. Do not smoke when working with these liquids.
- If you spill liquids on your clothing, remove the items and dry them outdoors. Once dry, the clothing can be laundered.
- Keep liquids in their original containers with lids or caps tightly sealed. Never store liquids in glass containers.
- Never use gasoline as a cleaner or to break down grease.
- Store gasoline only in a container that is designed for that purpose and keep the container tightly capped when not in use.
- Never store gasoline containers in an occupied building. Gasoline should be stored in a detached garage, shed or outdoors, away from any heat sources.
Source: National Fire Protection Association