Fire safety in the shop

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Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 03-04-2012 01:53 AM 1428 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mainiac Matt

8553 posts in 2528 days

03-04-2012 01:53 AM

I finally hooked up a hard wired smoke alarm in the shop today. I also set up a small extinguisher.

I chose a photo- electric smoke alarm thinking that it would be less prone to false alarm than an ionization smoke alarm.

Do you have a smoke alarm in your shop?

I’d think that even an inexpensive battery operated model is better than nothing.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

12 replies so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3114 days

#1 posted 03-04-2012 02:01 AM

It would not do me any good with the shop being 80ft from the house. If it called my cell phone to tell me when it went off, then I would consider it.

No jokes, I do have a remote control system for my astronomical observatory that will do everything—- open the dome, slew to a star and synch the mount, slew to another star to focus, slew to the target and start taking images of any type(s) I determine, slew to another object and take images, slew back to the HOME position, close the dome, and then call my cell phone and send me a text message that all is done. Oh, and if something were to go wrong in the middle of the imaging session, it will call to tell me of that failure and to go out to the observatory and fix it.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 3035 days

#2 posted 03-09-2012 02:09 PM

This is a good question and I’d be interested to know what more people have. I don’t have a smoke alarm in the shop which is connected to the upstairs hallway. There are two detectors outside the shop in the hallway and in the bathroom. Inside the shop I have two extinguishers, a small one that stays at the far end and a big one by the door.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Ben's profile


302 posts in 2530 days

#3 posted 03-09-2012 02:23 PM

My shop isn’t at home, so an alarm wouldn’t do me much good either. I do keep a fire extinguisher handy and unplug everything when I leave for the day.

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5124 posts in 4160 days

#4 posted 03-09-2012 02:58 PM

Smoke detector, glass break monitor, and fire extinguisher are all standin’ by. All part of the home security system. Sure makes a difference in the insurance premiums.


View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3114 days

#5 posted 03-09-2012 03:14 PM

I forgot to mention that I do have extinguishers at both ends of the shop. The only thing is that I need to be in the shop to know if/when to use them. After reading some time back, about the guy who sparked a fire in his TS from unknowingly hitting a nail that smoldered but did not take off until he had left the shop, I also altered some of my own “best practices” in that I will empty the TS, jointer, DC, etc. at the end of each session in the shop if those tools are used. Sometimes I forget, but really, really trying to keep up on that self-pledge toward fire safety in the shop.

BTW, to run a telephone line or CAT5 between the house and stand alone garage/shop would put me out of compliance with how I currently have the garage wired and grounded.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Marlow's profile


178 posts in 2871 days

#6 posted 03-10-2012 12:57 AM

My oily rag fire dept approved waste receptacle should be here tomorrow: its the oily rags that keep me up at night.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8553 posts in 2528 days

#7 posted 03-10-2012 03:32 AM

You hit the nail on the head with that one Marlow!

I”ve been on the hunt for a “real” rag bin for years…..

I’d like to get a real “hazmat” locker for oil based paints, stains and poly as well.

Those buggers are darn expensive though.

I’m pretty freaked out about greasy clean up rags and those used to clean up oil based polly…. I take them out to the trash can shed immediately when I’m done.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View KDO's profile


154 posts in 2969 days

#8 posted 03-10-2012 03:49 AM

You will eventually set off that smoke detector.
It is designed to pick up particles in the air.
What you need is a HEAT detector. It detects high HEAT. Chances are your local Fire code calls for a heat detector in your environment.
You can always go to your local jurisdiction and as for the Fire Marshall’s office. They can tell you exactly what you need.
Fire extinguishers are also a necessity.
It’s good that you are thinking about this, as most people don’t.
Good luck, and enjoy that shop!

-- Christian, Husband, Grandpa, Salesman, amateur Woodworker.

View grumpy749's profile


228 posts in 2577 days

#9 posted 03-10-2012 03:56 AM

I hang my stain soaked rags up to dry overnight befor trashing them. two fire extinguishers and a smoke detector.The dam think is always going off when i’m burning wood There are hundreds of ways a fire can start in your shop. I worry about this all the time.

-- Denis in Grande Prairie. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mistery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.....Pink !

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3374 days

#10 posted 03-10-2012 04:14 AM

My shop smoke AND CO2 detectors are linked to the rest of the ones in the house.

Extinguisher is easily located and accessible, near the door.

Oily rags get laid out flat, to dry. It’s pretty darned dry around these parts, anyway. CraigsList had an oily rag container, but … not today.

There are a few threads where a fire fighter (or somebody in the industry) weighed in, with lots of good info, but … I always think this is an important and valuable topic, as is … homeowners’ insurance.

-- -- Neil

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 3564 days

#11 posted 03-10-2012 04:35 AM

I have my smoke detector, fire extinguisher and first aid kit right at the door to my shop. I always have my cell phone (in a ziplock bag to keep the dust out) in the shop in case of an emergency. The home security system keypad is about 5 feet away from the shop door. It has panic buttons that can summon the police or fire department in case of emergency.

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 3035 days

#12 posted 03-10-2012 05:11 AM

With oily rags I always stick them outside the window onto the roof to dry faster in the open air. Easy to do when the shop is on the second floor. They are actually my biggest concern because most of my work is at night and I look in after turning off the lights to see if anything is glowing that shouldn’t be.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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