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Potting Soil: A Hidden Household Fire Risk

Posted on August 18, 2010 by HSC


As a housing provider and landlord, you are constantly on the lookout for hazards and potential safety risks. But did you ever think that potting soil could pose a fire hazard?

 

Potting soil has a different composition than regular ground soil, consisting of 85% peat moss and 15% other product. The point of this mixture is to produce a light, well draining environment that allows plant roots to breathe. However, the combination of these ingredients also makes the soil combustible.

 

Unwatered potting soil absorbs heat and the resulting “fires all start by breaking out through the base of the planters…they are absorbing heat, they are retaining heat and eventually they break down,” according to John Coull, manager at Origin and Cause, a fire investigation and forensic consulting firm.

 

You can find more information on this new trend of residential fires by reading this article in a recent edition of Canadian Underwriter.

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