The South Windsor Fire Department is warning residents to cool off their lawn care equipment after two shed fires this week.
Firefighters issued a warning for those using gas-powered tools.
“Between the equipment being hot, the temperatures being hot and putting it inside a confined space, let it have some air, let it cool off before you put it away,” South Windsor Fire Chief Kevin Cooney said.
South Windsor resident Danny O’Brien returned home on Wednesday to find his shed on fire. After the fire was knocked, O’Brien said he found a charred lawn mower.
O’Brien said his lawn mower was borrowed by one of this neighbors, who then put it back in the wrong place.
“The fire marshals are actually doing the full investigation, but the overall assumption is that the equipment is hot,” Cooney said. “It’s hot outside, we’re not giving it time to cool off.”
A similar occurrence took place only 10 minutes from O’Brien’s home, where an entire shed when up in flames. Experts said that letting your equipment cool down for even five or 10 minutes is enough time.
“The fire marshals are actually doing the full investigation but the overall assumption is that the equipment is hot. It's hot outside, we're not giving it time to cool off,” Cooney said. “We're putting it inside a confined space with no air movement, so the devices are hot and it's just off-gassing and catching fire.”
Cooney explained what ignited the fire.
“It's just a lack of air movement. It's the equipment being hot could have leaks of some sort could be a lot of different things that's causing it to catch on fire,” Cooney said.
Jay Cofeill of Cofeill’s Sport & Power, said power equipment operators have that often leads to fires.
“There’s a lot of buildup on the machines that people don’t clean off,” Cofeill said.
Whether it’s dried grass or letting the mower cool, many people are unaware that such inaction could lead to fire.
Firefighters said are hoping that people take warning and are cautious for the rest of the mowing season.
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