With so much electrical equipment, fires are a major hazard to watch out for. You’re not only putting yourself and your building at risk, but also those surrounding you too.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of bad wiring catching fire or the plant canopy getting too close to a hot light and bursting into flames. It’s never good when a fire breaks out in an indoor grow but it’s even more tragic when that grow room is in our home.
Lots of people that are growing at home will face multiple issues that can ruin your project and even put you in danger! Our advice is to never ever start growing before researching all the safety issues.
How to prevent fires?
Most of these fires start because of cheap devices or bad installation of the cables or transformators. Make sure you only work with US/EU approved electric devices. (lights, fans, air pump, watering system devices, cables) The installation has to be done profesionally. Find your self an approved electrician or company that will do the installing. If no one can know about the grow, and you haven’t got some electrician that would like to work with you then ask yourself the question if it’s a good idea to start growing. Safety first!
Don’t leave any trash lying around. A really simple and effective tip is to not have a bin inside your grow room, instead just keep a roll of garbage bags and use a fresh one every time you’re in there, taking it with you when you leave.
Check for anything in your grow room that could catch fire, or burn quickly if it does catch on fire, and get it out of there! Your grow room should not be used as a storage area, especially for anything flammable.
Install a smoke alarm, and make sure you replace the batteries and test it regularly. Also test whether or not you can hear it from other places in the area or building, as it’s no use if you can only hear it with the door open.
Don’t use a heat regulated thermostat for keeping your room temperature down. They might seem like a good idea for if you’re away frequently, but if a fire does break out, the fans will activate and draw the fire through the ventilation system, feeding it with more air as it goes.
Check equipment for faults or damage regularly
All equipment will wear down over time, it’s one of the downsides to using this type of technology when growing indoors compared to good old soil in an outdoor garden. That said, regular maintenance will ensure that your system is all running as it should be, and can make it last for years.
- Tighten all the nuts and bolts on light stands
- Check ratchet light hangers
- Stick an electrical outlet tester into all grow op outlets
- Look every extension cord, outlet strip, and AC cord
- Measure the distance between lights and plants
- Do temperature readings of all surfaces near lights and on my light housings and reflectors.
- Make sure the white poly plastic on walls is fastened down properly so it can’t fall off and catch fire
- Smell all the appliances, ballasts, fans, and other electrical devices in grow op to detect any odor of short circuit, burning dust, or other mishap
- Check if GFIs are all working
- Firewall your marijuana grow room
- Install a fire door on your grow room.
How do I prepare for a fire, just in case?
Assume a fire is going to break out at some point anyway. Keep at least one fire extinguisher in your grow area. Check that it is full and in good working order, and replace it within the ‘use by’ date. Keep a good torch next to it; if your lights are off, and your room is as light-proof as it should be, you may be dealing with a pitch-black space filled with smoke and lit only by flickering flames.
Some homes come with a fire sprinkler system, which is a great thing if you have a fire. Not so good for the grower in us and here’s why. They do an excellent job at controlling and knocking down a fire to keep your house from burning down. There’s going to be a lot of water to cleanup and unless you’re using waterproof equipment you may be looking at a total loss. The water that rains down will have some form of bacteria in it because it’s been stagnant for so long. If the plants are flowering, all that water could cause mold. When the system goes off, bells and alarms will ring and first responders (fire department /police) will usually show up. Nothing in this chain of events sounds like a good time but it could happen when you’re growing with a fire sprinkler in the room.
Have an exit plan. In the event of a fire getting out of control, you should already know which way(s) you can leave the building, and what you’re going to do about alerting other people in the area and the emergency services.
We hope you find this information useful, and that it helps to keep you – and your plants – safe from fire.
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