Now that it is late fall, all of the oaks, maples, and broad leaf trees are in the process of dropping all of their leaves. Beyond home or property aesthetics, leaf raking and removal are also a matter of safety. In dry weather, leaves are easily ignitable and can spread any existing fire quickly.
ARCCA’s fire cause and origin experts have investigated many fires that were caused by or made worse by fallen leaves, such as:
- Vehicle fires started by dry leaves touching a hot exhaust system.
- Exhaust from tractors or other equipment igniting leaves and ground cover.
- Leaves spreading a fire from one house/building structure to another.
- A moped fire that spread to and caused a barn fire due to leaves.
- An authorized leaf burn that became out of control.
- An unintentional fire started from discarded smoking materials that were blown by the wind into leaves that ignited and ultimately burned down several buildings.
Additionally, leaf/mulch piles left for long periods can experience self-heating or auto-ignition as a result of the natural decay process.
The following are some tips typically given to homeowners regarding leaves and fire safety:
- Pay extra attention to discarding any smoking materials.
- Keep leaves clear of intentionally set fires, such as fire pits, barbecue grills, etc.
- Take care to properly dispose of ashes from wood fires.
- Don’t park cars, tractors, or equipment overtop of leaf piles.
- Make sure any leaf piles are away from your home or any building structures.
ARCCA wishes you a wonderful and safe fall season!