Marie-Claude Dulac

By Marie-Claude Dulac

July 12, 2017

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Be Wary of Fires Caused by Potting Soil!

Article revised on 15 June 2018

Did you know that the soil used for potted plants often contains flammable materials?

Materials such as peat moss, wood chips, polystyrene or vermiculite are used because they allow maximum moisture retention. When the soil is dry and in contact with a source of heat such as a lit cigarette, it can pose a fire hazard.

Here are a few tricks to reduce the risk of fires:

  • Use deep and stable ashtrays that won’t blow away with a gust of wind when you or your guests smoke. Ashtrays are the safest place to put out a cigarette!
  • Before disposing of your ashes in the trash, pour some water on the cigarette stubs. Then you can be sure they’re out.
  • Water your potted plants frequently to keep the soil moist.
  • Use clay pots, because they can keep a fire contained better than other types of pots.
  • Keep potted plants and soil away from combustible materials (firewood, paper, aerosols, solvents, fuel, cleaning products, etc.).
  • Dispose of unused potting soil, because it can pose a fire hazard once it’s dried out.

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