2014-02-20 / News

MSP: Dispose of ash properly

MARQUETTE – With the increased use of alternative heating methods, the Michigan State Police Fire Investigation Unit is urging the public to use care when disposing of leftover ashes.

Even after several days, piles of ashes can hold enough heat to reignite and start a fire. Therefore, extra care should be used in the storage and final disposal of ashes.

Never empty ashes into a paper or plastic bag, cardboard box, or similar container. The only suitable means for ash storage is a metal container with an elevated bottom and tight fitting lid which prevents air from igniting the coals.

The following steps should be taken:

• All ashes should be stored in a fire resistant metal container with a tight fitting cover. For optimum safety, wet the wood ashes before attaching the metal lid to the pail. Buckets made specifically for storage of ashes are available at many area retailers.

• The metal container should then be placed away from or on anything that can burn. It should not be placed next to a firewood pile, up against a garage, in or on a wooden deck, or in any enclosed structure.

• There is no “set time” for determining complete extinguishment of ashes as it depends on the size of embers, type of wood burned, and type of ash can used.

• Re-inspect ashes before disposing.

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