1. Registration trouble? Please use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom right corner of the page and your issue will be resolved.
    Dismiss Notice

Welders And Fire Season

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by piffey263, May 19, 2018.

Tags:
  1. May 19, 2018
    piffey263

    piffey263 Active Member

    Medford, OR
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,213
    First of all let me know if we have a thread like this.

    Fire season is fast approaching for people in California, as I’m sure other states are there or soon.

    What precautions should be taken when welding outside?

    My Jeep is on the side of the house parked in grass for example. Short of building a pole barn, car port or shop, I have been thinking of precautions.

    Remove all vegetation for a 10’ to 15’ radius.

    Water surrounding areas with sprinkler.

    Have someone stand guard for said fire, with extinguisher.



    Thread on fire extinguishers if you missed it.
    Fire Extinguishers
     
  2. May 19, 2018
    Bowbender

    Bowbender I'm workin' on it! 2020 Sponsor

    Northern Minn.
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Messages:
    563
    I was cutting up some scrap iron outside my shop a couple weeks back with an abrasive cutoff saw. Throwing lots of sparks, caught a little patch of dry grass on fire. Two stomps and it was out, but the risk is there. We've had some rain and things have "greened up", so the danger is less now. I'd say clearing the area and watering it down would be a good idea.
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  3. May 19, 2018
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    4,620
    Good topic. East coast guys are going to scratch their heads at this thread. I would have too before I moved out here.

    Just as a point of reference, one summer afternoon when it was particularly crispy, I took a striker out to the dead grass next to the shop driveway and squeezed it about an inch above the ground. The grass lit up like it was soaked in gas.

    I'd suggest wetting the area down before working, and maybe digging a small fire line around the work area, just in case an unseen ember lights up after you are done. It doesn't take much of a break in the foliage to prevent spreading.
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  4. May 19, 2018
    Daryl

    Daryl Sponsor

    Bonney Lake, WA
    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,797
    30 feet of clear space is the company line. (Firefighter is my job that pays the bills)
    Crazy how fast it spreads and how easy it is to light on a day with no humidity.
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  5. May 19, 2018
    PeteL

    PeteL Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    7,067
    In that scenario, I'd hope to see at least a water supply with a hose, and plenty of both, rather than just an extinguisher. Although a 2-½ gallon pressurized water extinguisher would be handy too.

    In the right (wrong) conditions fire can spread faster than you can run.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
    piffey263 likes this.
  6. May 19, 2018
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! 2020 Sponsor

    Washington DC.
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,916
    When I do work in power plants and I need a hot work order, that means welding or grinding, There needs to be a fire watch for a minimum of 30 min after work is complete with a person trained and holding a fire extinguisher. I live on the east coast and have lit grass on fire and myself too. Be careful and take reasonable precautions.
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  7. May 19, 2018
    Twin2

    Twin2 not him 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Virginia Beach, VA
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,355
    we had to the same thing if hot work was outside of welding shop
    and you got more that a slap on hand . if you didn't have one on job site

    it use to amaze the guys I worked with
    I could weld with only a pair of gloves and short sleeve shirt . of course a hood too


    I remember the first welding instructor I met . in welding school did it all the time :study:
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  8. May 19, 2018
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Messages:
    4,741
    Eh - even inside my shop I have 2 5Gal buckets of water available when welding and cutting. I also have 2 med fire extinguishers if I need them.

    Luckily I have enough clear cement outside the shop that I don't need to worry about sparks much even out there. I also just don't work outside the shop with either on Red Flag days (seem a lot more common lately too).
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  9. May 19, 2018
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor

    Harford Township, PA
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,076
    What, do you guys actually get sun? We get mud season then snow season. I swear I think if a NE Pennsylvanian went to Seattle, we would probably be amazed at weather more cheerful and dryer than ours.
     
    47v6 and ITLKSEZ like this.
  10. May 20, 2018
    Danefraz

    Danefraz Well-Known Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Chico CA
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,988
    So, you're jeep is in Lake County. Dryer most days than a popcorn fart in a TNT shed, Wiley E. You all have had enough flames 'clean up' out most of that country over the last few years, tragic indeed.

    You need to have your clearance for the buildings / property - give yourself 30ft to 60ft in the semi-level space (if you have sloping ground, imo you might want more on the sloping approach by up to 4x depending).

    Wind will carry embers miles farther than your grinder will throw them.

    SO, I'd have weed whacked to the ground all the grass within 30ft, may be rake away (do not pile the cuttings, scatter them or haul them off / put in your yard waste bin - piles of cuttings make nice 'rat-house' intensely fueled messes) then I'd come in 5ft or so from the outer edge, and put a little dirt scrape in. If you got a hose, then 'pre-wet' things down; our north winds and intense sun dries things out fast, so mind your buffer and your moisture. Dries faster yet if you're on a south / westerly facing aspect. Don't do it on windy days... or 'extra-extra' mitigate your windy days with all of the above, may be have someone man a hose or put on a sprinkler after all the above, IDK your specific situation. Prolly wouldn't hurt for them to squirt you off once in a while too, keeps the funk down in the heat :p

    I'd personally have a 2ft dirt scrape (think 'hiking trail') around where I was working (actually, around my entire place in general); offset some from the outer edge, figuring a 20ft buffer for grinder slag spin off - or get one of them 'welding tarps' you fold out / stand up around your work area like an antique clothes changing stand. Don't pile up the crap you scrape off the dirt ... make sure it's scattered or you haul it off. I'd trim up all the brush that might be around, and cut any low hanging branches so they're at least 6ft or higher off the ground. Make your place 'park like' so to speak.
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  11. May 20, 2018
    piffey263

    piffey263 Active Member

    Medford, OR
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,213
    Fhoehle: the sun is a real thing. 2/3 if the county basically burned down within the past 5 years. No such thing as a snow season unless it’s every 10-20 years in town. Mountains excluded.

    Dane: lake county would be correct. I don’t want to be the reason the county lights up again....

    My plan was to make it completely dirt around the Jeep abou 15 feet worth the end of the property to the dirt road. That gives me 20-25 feet of dirt. There is a field next door, though. :(

    I have caught the grass on fire before. Two fire existinguisher, a hose make quick order. However you have to be really quick... 2-3 sq feet of grass burned is no joke after pre watering. I seem to recall it started back up too.

    Warlock: I like the two 5 gal buckets of water. Use those up before

    Daryl: thanks for the info. Good to hear some information on the topic form guys in this area.


    PeteL: I always have water and fire exstinguisher :)
    I just feel it’s not enough in this case.
     
  12. May 20, 2018
    jeep peep69

    jeep peep69 Sponsor

    redding ca.
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    287
    If you have to weld outdoors do it early in the morning when humidity is up have a fire watch..... do not do it on red flag days.clear all vegetation around work area down to bare mineral soil have water fire extinguisher and a shovel on hand
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  13. May 20, 2018
    tarry99

    tarry99 Member

    Northern California
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Messages:
    3,784
    All good Ideas........Piff, cut the grass / fuel down to the ground out 20-30 ft from your welding area.........if you have a rototiller or tractor cut a fire break around that work area...........forget windy days and low humidity days.
    Arc welders are the worst for sparks as well as grinders & cutting torches .............before starting make sure you have a hose close by with at least 50' of reach from the welding area , wet the area down out to your fire break........when you take a break hit it again and when finished once more & yep you'll probably get your boots muddy......but a couple of pieces of plywood around the work area will help....

    Most fires are started by folks that are not paying attention.........preparing for one and having a plan in place is half the battle....
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  14. May 20, 2018
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist

    Albertville, AL
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Messages:
    5,071
    Wow, and you guys worry about the southeast during tornado season. I can't imagine having to worry like you guys do about burning crap up. I feel for y'all in the late spring and summer. Don't get me wrong we do have some fires around here but there generally set or created by complete idiots burning **** when they shouldn't be. We really don't have to worry about summer heat or dryness on a regular basis.

    Stay safe!
     
    cookieman and piffey263 like this.
  15. May 21, 2018
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Messages:
    4,741
    I've even seen fires from a trail fix. Guy broke a spring hanger, on board welder and I was gluing it back together.... Since I was under the hood, I didn't see the 6 other folks tossing water from the creek and dirt on the area putting the spark fires out. After I got done welding, we moved the rigs up the hill a bit and sat around for about an hour eating lunch to make sure nothing started up.
     
  16. May 21, 2018
    termin8ed

    termin8ed I didn't do it Staff Member

    Mason, MI
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,105
    Can you use 4x4's or something like that as a frame to keep sparks from "rolling" out away from you?
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  17. May 31, 2018
    Don X

    Don X President for Life Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    San Diego,...
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,858
    I've seen fires that started when the mower hit a rock. If a small spark like that can't start one welding sparks are like a blowtorch.
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  18. May 31, 2018
    Danefraz

    Danefraz Well-Known Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Chico CA
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,988
    Saw a fire started from swinging a golf club...

    X2 on grinders being flame theowers by comparison
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  19. May 31, 2018
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist

    Albertville, AL
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Messages:
    5,071
    Can you guys even breathe if you come back east? I would think that most of you guys would be sick from our humidity in just a day or so. Right now it is 86° outside with 98% humidity. You sweat just standing there for 5-10 minutes. I could run a welder and a grinder outside all day with no fear of catching anything on fire.
     
    piffey263 likes this.
  20. May 31, 2018
    Danefraz

    Danefraz Well-Known Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Chico CA
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,988
    Breathe? Sure. It will be 110* here this summer may be as high as 115* in isolated areas of town. Nights usually cool down to in the 70’s for an hour or two.

    Lived in Virginia for about 5 years. Noth Georgia for a year. Worked in Nashville for a couple of years.

    Yea, i like my ‘dry heat’, and the 50* swings from night to mornings, especially in the mountains, but that just means you will see the salt on my shirt where the sweat dried, as it is a different kind of two shirt day.
     

Share This Page

New Posts