TMFPD gives tips to residents on how to properly dispose fireplace ashes

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Updated: 11/15/2012 4:30 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & -- With the increased use of both indoor and outdoor fireplaces and alternative heating methods such as pellet stoves and corn burners, the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) has had an increase in fires due to the careless or improper disposal of the leftover ashes.

TMFPD officials warn that even after several days, piles of ashes can hold enough heat to reignite and start a fire, so extra care should be used in the storage and final disposal of all ashes by following these steps:

•All ashes should be stored in a metal fire-resistant container with a tight fitting cover (buckets made especially for storage of ashes are available at many area retailers). Any container stored outside should also be secured so that the container and lid do not tip over in high winds. Ashes should NEVER be disposed of in a plastic garbage bag or can, a cardboard box, or paper grocery bag. While this sounds obvious, it happens far too often.

•Once the ashes are in the metal container, 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 in the container. This practice should also be applied to cigarette and charcoal grill ashes.

•The metal container should then be placed 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. If stored in a garage, be VERY careful to keep the container well away from any combustible materials.

•After sitting in this metal container for at least a week, the ashes should again be checked for hot spots. If no hot spots are found, the ashes are then safe to dispose of in your normal trash when taken to the curb.

•DO NOT dispose of ashes in open areas outdoors. Piles of ash lying in open dirt areas can easily become hot and spread to vegetation or buildings with even a light wind.

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