Mulch is a combustible material that can be easily ignited by improperly discarded smoking materials. Hundreds of small and large fires are started this way every year.  The risk is that what starts as a small outdoor mulch fire can quickly spread to buildings. A mulch fire can be well underway before someone notices or is alerted by smoke alarms or sprinkler systems activating.

Tips for Property Managers, Building Owners & Landscapers

  • Use non-combustible mulch such as rock or pea stone (pictured above).
  • Provide a minimum of an 18-inch clearance between landscape mulch beds and combustible building materials, such as wood, vinyl siding and decks.
  • Provide proper receptacles for smoking materials at all entrances to public buildings and in designated smoking areas. Place them at least 18″ away from the building, do not mulch in these areas and remember to regularly empty smoking receptacles.
  • Grounds and maintenance crews should be aware when conditions are favorable for mulch fires and increase surveillance of mulch beds.
  • Keep mulch beds moist when possible.

This information was sourced from

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