EASTON, Conn. -- Did you know that fireplace ashes retain enough heat to ignite other combustible materials for several days after a fire?
Last week's Rockhouse Road brush fire prompted the Easton Fire Marshal to issue important reminders for disposing of fireplace and wood burning stove ashes.
Improper ash disposal jeopardizes property and can cause personal injury, resulting in costly property damage and displacing families, according to the Fire Marshall.
An investigation of the Jan. 29 fire reportedly revealed it was due to improper disposal of fireplace ashes, according to the Fire Marshall.
Extra care should be used in the storage and final disposal of ashes.
Make sure there are no hot spots left in the ashes.
This is done either by soaking them in water or leaving them to sit for a few days if practical (and then double checking them for hot spots).
All ashes should be stored in a fire- resistant (metal) container with a tight fitting cover (buckets made especially for storage of ashes are available at many area retailers).
Never dispose of ashes in a plastic garbage can, cardboard box, or paper grocery bag.
This metal container should then be placed outside the home, away from anything that can burn.
It should not be placed next to the firewood pile, up against the garage, on or under a wooden deck, or under a porch.
After sitting in this sealed metal container for at least three days, the ashes are then safe for disposal.