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Mulch Fire Safety

Mulch Fire Safety

Mulch is combustible and can catch fire easily when smoking materials are discarded in it. Hundreds of fires start this way each year. Learn to prevent mulch fires.

Mulch Fire Safety

Mulch Regulation

Regulations for spreading mulch

  • Regulations prohibit the new application of mulch within 18″ of combustible exteriors of buildings, such as wood or vinyl, but not brick or concrete.
  • Residential buildings with six units or less are exempt, but all homeowners may want to follow these safe practices. The regulation applies to all other buildings including commercial properties.

Report Mulch Fires

• If you see anything smoking in a landscape bed, put it out if you can and only if it is safe to do so and report it. If the burning material is not thoroughly wet or removed it can re-ignite.
• Report any smoke or fire by calling 9-1-1.

How Mulch Fires Start

Care must be taken to prevent mulch fires.

  • In many mulch fires, the smoldering mulch tunnels under the surface and then breaks out into open flame
  • Mulch that is piled too deeply, more than a few inches, can build up heat and spontaneously catch fire
  • Mulch fires start more readily when the weather is hot and it has been dry for an extended time
  • Factors such as below-average rainfall, dry conditions, warm temperatures, and high winds increase the risk of mulch fires.

More information can be found here.

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