Pesticide Fire Safety Tips


In August, during the height of bug season, it can be tempting to whip out a can of pesticide and start spraying everything down. But if you’ve taken a look at the back of virtually any pest control product you may have noticed the warning label that let’s you know the pesticide is flammable.

Adding to the problem is the fact that pesticides are chemicals, which poses a completely different set of concerns. If you plan to use pesticides in your yard our advice is to take special precautions right now to significantly reduce the possibility of a fire.

Have a Fire Prevention Plan

Any firefighter will tell you that planning ahead is one of the best ways to prevent any kind of fire. Every second counts, and you don’t want to spend precious time trying to figure out what to do when you could be putting the fire out.

Create a fire prevention plan that includes:

  • A list of your pesticides and their location
  • Access routes
  • Evacuation routes
  • Where hoses are located
  • Where fire extinguishers are located
  • Emergency numbers

Read the Instruction Labels and Warnings Before Use

This may seem like a no-brainer, but when was the last time you read every line on the back of a cleaner, paint can or other flammable product? Knowing exactly how a pesticide should and should not be handled is the easiest way to prevent a fire from occurring. The warning label will also tell you how flammable the product is and whether extra care needs to be taken.

Take Safety Precautions During Pesticide Application

When applying pesticides make sure to wear appropriate safety gear like protective eyewear and gloves. You also need to check your equipment to verify everything is working properly and there are no leaks that could spill the pesticide. Clear the area of debris and never use pesticide around fires, heating devices, hot pipes, etc. Do a physical inspection of the area before starting the application to ensure there are no possible fire threats.

It goes without saying that you should also never smoke while using pesticides.

Keep an ABC Dry Chemical Extinguisher on Hand

Water alone may not put out a fire that’s created by pesticides, and the runoff could be toxic. That’s why it’s essential that you have the right fire extinguisher nearby when you are using pesticides. A dry chemical extinguisher, also known as a powder extinguisher, is capable of putting out both flammable liquids and flammable gases. There are two types of dry chemical extinguishers: BC and ABC. The ABC dry chemical extinguisher is best because it can put out wood and paper fires, which makes it a must for outdoor and indoor applications.

Proper Storage of Pesticides

Some pesticides, especially the ones in cans, are combustible. Even when they are sitting on a shelf they can be dangerous if they are stored in the wrong area. Keep these tips in mind when you’re trying to decide where to store your pesticides.

  • Never put pesticides near heat or fire – for example a gas water heater in the garage.
  • Place pesticides so that their labels are facing outward and can be easily read.
  • Keep pesticide in a cool, dry place that’s out of direct sunlight.
  • Put pesticides in a place where they won’t be knocked over easily.
  • Whenever possible store pesticides in a garage or shed that isn’t attached to your home.

Professional pest control services are always the most effective way to make sure treatments are done safely during the heat of the summer. At Vulcan Termite & Pest Control Inc. our pest control technicians in Birmingham are trained to properly and safely handle all pesticides. Having a pro do the application for you ensures that all the proper precautions are taken to keep you, your family and your home safe.

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