Spontaneous Combustion, Paint & Rags

Spontaneous Combustion, Paint & Rags

Spontaneous Combustion, Paint & Rags is about the horrifying thing that can happen to your brand new house, near the end of construction.  And what  you can do to prevent it.

spontaneous combustion









This architectural firm has seen the results of spontaneous combustion: a major fire, often totally destroying a brand new house.  Why does it seem to be NEW houses that attract this terrible devastation?


The answer turns out to be simple: Paint, stain and similar fluids.  And rags soaked with paint and other aromatics. Because painting is one of the procedures that occurs nears the end of construction.  It’s part of the finishing operations.


How can paint and rags catch fire without a match or other source of ignition?


Wikipedia, the online Encyclopedia, defines spontaneous combustion as:
“a type of combustion which occurs by self-heating (increase in temperature due to exothermic internal reactions), followed by thermal runaway (self heating which rapidly accelerates to high temperatures) and finally, ignition.”


Of course,  insurance companies know about this sort of event.   Chubb Person Insurance states that:
“Spontaneous combustion, sometime referred to as spontaneous ignition, begins when a combustible object is heated to its ignition temperature by a slow oxidation process.  Oxidation is a chemical reaction involving the oxygen in the air around us gradually raising the inside temperature of something (like a pile of rags) to the point at which a fire starts.”

Link to:–> online Chubb article.


continued below:













This architectural company has seen multi-million dollar houses (that it didn’t happen to design) catch fire during the night, when no one was around.  Police and State Fire Marshals investigated, thinking arson, only to discover that the painter had stacked all of his paint cans together in the garage, next to a pile of paint and solvent soaked rags.  The rags spontaneously ignited during the night and in turn detonated the oil-based paints, stains and other solvent-based chemicals in the vicinity, which in turn ignited the combustible house structure, which burned the 99% completed house down to the ground. What a shame! 


This is why the HOME ARCHITECTS ® have a clause in their Division 9 Paint specification that forbids painters and others from storing paint or rags in the house or garage or near them overnight.  Their specifications require that these combustible items be stored at a safe distance from the house under construction and if inside anywhere, they will be inside the Contractor’s portable office and separated from each other.  But nowhere near the house being built.  One more reason this architectural company has Clients engaging them to design, specify and administer the creation of their dream houses.




tags: Spontaneous Combustion, Paint & Rags, Cashiers, Lake Toxaway, Highlands, Glenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Telluride, Aspen, Lake Tahoe, Atlanta

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