Blaze beware: how to stop making rubbish a fire risk
Adding the wrong items to rubbish bins and black sacks could put lives at risk by starting a fire, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) has warned.
As well as the danger of a fire in a rubbish bin threatening homes or business premises, lack of care could start a blaze in rubbish lorry or see a landfill conflagration putting staff at risk.
The warning comes after 70 firefighters tackled a blaze that broke out at a landfill site in Wareham, Dorset, and almost a year since a fire took days to put out at Dimmer in Somerset.
Among the danger items that SWP says should never be added to the rubbish bin are:
- Hot ash or part-burned materials from domestic or garden fires or barbecues.
- Used portable barbeques whose charcoal may not be completely cold.
- Household or vehicle batteries as these may short out or cause sparks.
- Broken glass not carefully wrapped or bagged as it could act as a magnifying lens.
- Aerosols as they may get hot or be pierced during the collection and landfill process.
The advice is simple in each case:
- Let ash and portable barbecues completely cool, or fully damp down with water.
- Recycle vehicle batteries through any one of Somerset’s 16 recycling sites.
- Take household batteries to recycling sites or high street stores that collect them.
- Carefully wrap and bag broken glass, which should also never go in recycling boxes.
- Use up aerosols completely, do not squash, and then add them to recycling boxes.
A SWP spokesperson said: “These are common sense precautions to avoid fires. And recyclable items – including batteries and aerosols – should never be in household rubbish.”
No one was hurt in either landfill blaze, and in neither case has the cause yet been identified.