The Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention would like to remind residents and local businesses of using common sense when it comes to using mulch to enhance landscaping. Each year during spring and summer months, hundreds of mulch fires are reported across the nation. These fires start out small and are sometimes undetected, but eventually grow into a devestating fire, causing major damage to buildings, homes, and businesses.
Typically, mulch that is piled to deeply, more than a few inches, can build up heat and spontaneously ignite. As the fire starts in the landscaping mulch, it quickly spreads into the schrubbery and than into the home or business. However, the most common cause of mulch fire is human carelessness through inappropriate discarding of smoking materials, including matches.
To help prevent mulch fires, the Fire Bureau recommends the following:
Consider using a colored stone instead of mulch
Use approved receptacles for smoking materials
Be aware of weather conditions, hot spells allow mulch fires to start more easily
Keep mulch beds as moist as possible
Maintain at least 18" of clearance between the mulch bed and combustible materials.
Also Toms River residents whose properties abutt to a wooded area must take the threat of fire seriously, and take precautions to prevent a fire from bridgeing it's way to their home. Some examples consist of keeping our gutters clean of leaves and pine needles, removing dead limbs from trees, having spark arrestors or heavy screen wire on our chimneys,stacking firewood at least 30'ft from our home, establishing and maintaining a minimum fire break by establishing a well watered green lawn, It is also a good idea to have garden hoses connected to the exterior of your home to prevent a small fire from becoming a large one. and lastly, make sure everone(including children know how to dial the emergency service phone number.)