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Can your ashes

By December 20, 2011

CAMINO — “Recently there have been several fires caused by people improperly disposing of their fireplace/woodstove ashes. The last one burned about one-quarter acre and burned a neighboring property. This type of fire is completely avoidable” cautions Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire. “If you properly dispose of the ashes from your fireplace in a metal can you won’t jeopardize your property or those of your neighborhood.”

Proper ash disposal tips:

• When cleaning your fireplace or woodstove, always place your ashes in a metal container. Never use a paper or plastic bag or cardboard box.

• Put the metal container outside and immediately pour water into the can to cool any hot embers. Coals or pieces of wood can smolder for days.

• Stir the water into the ashes, making sure everything is cold.

• Cover the container with a lid and store the metal container away from flammable materials.

• If you vacuum your ashes make sure you use an appropriate “ash vacuum” which is specially designed to hold hot and cold embers. Never, ever use your regular home vacuum.

• Never place hot ashes in your garbage can as they will catch your garbage can on fire. Last Thursday a home in Sacramento caught fire after the homeowner placed hot ashes in their garbage can.

“Let’s make sure our holiday season is filled with wonderful memories, not a visit by the fire department. Remember fire prevention is your responsibility,” said Keenan.

Special to Village Life

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