(WGGB) — A new mulch safety regulation takes effect this weekend. Starting on September 1st, the new application of mulch within 18″ of combustible exteriors of the building, such as wood or vinyl, are prohibited. Residential buildings with less than 6 units are exempt from this regultion.
The regulation was developed in response to several fires in the Commonwealth involving mulch-wood products.
The new regulation also has safety requirements for those who store or manufacture mulch. It limits the size of mulch piles, requires a distance of 30-feet between piles, and limits the distance from the lot line to 25-feet. Large piles of mulch can easily spontaneously combust with all the heat they generate, so it’s important to be vigilant. The distance between piles prevents a fire in one from easily spreading to another or to a building.
Permits are required from the fire department wherever more than 300 cubic yards of mulch is produced or stored.
Here are some tips for property managers and building owners on how to prevent mulch fires:
· Keep wood mulch 18” away from combustible exteriors of buildings such as wood or vinyl siding. Don’t put it right up against the building.
· Use something like pea stone or crushed rock for the first 18” as a barrier around the foundation of the building.
· Provide proper receptacles for smoking materials.