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Flameproofing your environment


#1

Hi everyone, I’ve moved the car out of the garage, did some spring
cleaning, and am finally ready to complete the setup of my workshop.
I’m now at the point where I need to decide on my torch system and
implement any safety features. I would really appreciate tips from the
group, especially from members who have workshops at home.

Has anyone heard of any possible dangers from keeping & using a
torch, running a closed kiln and an ultralite kiln, and performing any
other heat-based activities in a garage? I know it’s pretty important
to make sure the torch never leaks and I’ll have fire extinguishers
around, just in case. (Does it make a difference what kind of fire
extinguisher to have on hand?)

I bought a satellite kiln. The directions must be pretty old because
it says to have an asbestos pad under the kiln before firing it up.
What do you use to put under your kiln? What kind of table do you use
for your kiln (metal? wood?) It seems like welding curtains and pads
are the closest subsitute that I could find for the asbestos pad but
it seems like overkill to me.

Any and all tips are greatly appreciated! You can reply directly to
me if this question has been asked before.

Thanks, very very much, in advance!

Soeun
@SE1


#2

Seoun—there are garages and there are garages. Is it attached?
detached? Are the walls brick? cinnderblock? wood? Is there a room
above the garage? Has it a window? These are all considerations
when you set up a home shop. Make sure you have an adequate
ventilation and exhaust system in place (I believe you can find a
substantial thread on this in the Orchid archives). And of course
fire extinguishers and a water source are a necessity. As far as
the kilns are concerned, you can rest them on a platform of
firebrick in lieu of asbestos pads. This is just a basic suggestion.
I leave the details to the experts. Good luck. Dee


#3
    Has anyone heard of any possible dangers from keeping & using a
torch, running a closed kiln and an ultralite kiln, and performing
any other heat-based activities in a garage?  I know it's pretty
important to make sure the torch never leaks and I'll have fire
extinguishers around, just in case.  (Does it make a difference what
kind of fire extinguisher to have on hand?) 

Question #1: Do you have a gas hot water heater in this garage? If
so, there is a potential danger of gas ignition because of the pilot
light (especially of propane, which lays low on the floor if it
leaks). At very least, storing your fuel source elsewhere is a very
good idea when not in use.

The current minimum recommended fire extinguisher is (at least here
in N. FL) is a 5-10-ABC extinguisher, either dry chemical or CO2. I
keep 2 as well as several smaller ones.

Otherwise, you might have to beef up your ventilation.

    I bought a satellite kiln.  The directions must be pretty old
because it says to have an asbestos pad under the kiln before firing
it up. What do you use to put under your kiln?  What kind of table
do you use for your kiln (metal?  wood?)  It seems like welding
curtains and pads are the closest subsitute that I could find for
the asbestos pad but it seems like overkill to me. 

A layer of firebrick would likely do as well. A metal table that
will hold the weight is not a bad thought (the old metal typewriter
tables are pretty sturdy, and easy to fine in yard sales and flea
markets.

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL
@Ron_Charlotte1 OR afn03234@afn.org


#4

Hi Soeun,

 Has anyone heard of any possible dangers from keeping & using a
torch, running a closed kiln and an ultralite kiln, and performing
any other heat-based activities in a garage?  I know it's pretty
important to make sure the torch never leaks and I'll have fire
extinguishers around, just in case.  (Does it make a difference what
kind of fire extinguisher to have on hand?) 

There are several types of fire extinguishers available. They’re
usually rated according to the types of fires A, B or C they’re
designed for. Some (the old water, bicarb of soda & acid) are rated
for only one type of fire, a trash fire, wood, cloth, paper, etc.
This is a A rated extinguisher.

A ‘B’ rate extinguisher will work best on liquid & grease fires

A ‘C’ rated extinguisher is intended for electrical fires.

Many times fire extinguishers are rated with multiple letters eg ‘B’
& ‘C’. These types are good for both liquid & grease as well as
electrical fires.

Probably the most common extinguishers available are rated for B & C
fires. They usually contain a dry chemical under pressure. Sometimes
they may contain CO2 (carbon Dioxide) under pressure.

The type rated for B & C fires are probably the best to get. A couple
of reasons aRe: they cover a wide range of commonly encountered fires
& when the fire is out clean up is much easier with a dry chemical
than a wet soggy mess that’s left after using any type of
extinguisher that contains water. The best from a clean up stand
point is a CO2 or other gas, there’s nothing other than the fire
debris to cleanup.

 I bought a satellite kiln.  The directions must be pretty old
because it says to have an asbestos pad under the kiln before firing
it up. What do you use to put under your kiln?  What kind of table
do you use for your kiln (metal?  wood?)  It seems like welding
curtains and pads are the closest substitute that I could find for
the asbestos pad but it seems like overkill to me. 

Check your local building supplier (Home Depot etc). They have boards
about 2ft x 4 ft x 1/2in made from cement with a fiberglass layer on
all surfaces. These are usually used as underlayment for tile in
bathrooms & other wet areas. They’ can be cut by scoring with a knife
& breaking. They’re economical, convenient, fireproof & easy to use.

Dave


#5

For an inexpensive flame proofing surface look at Hardy backerboard.
This is used to make a hard flat surface for ceramic tile. Home Depot
wil have it in the tile section.

Jesse