Equipment Fire Prevention: General Housekeeping
- Periodic cleaning of the engine and other enclosed areas of equipment to clean out debris, accumulations of oil and grease, or a combination of them is critical to reducing fuel for fires. Also, clean away the accumulation of leaves and twigs around exhaust systems. These become tinderboxes when the heat from the exhaust dries them, and the exhaust itself can become hot enough to ignite them!
- Areas around drive shafts, external bearing areas, external braking systems on older machines – keep those areas free of grease and oil that can be a magnet for dust, leaves, and twigs and a source of fuel for fires.
- Cleanup after a hydraulic or other oil leak – do it now to avoid possible problems later.
- Machine surfaces – keep them free of oil and debris accumulation, not only to help prevent fires but to create a safer environment for the operator.
- Periodic steam cleaning – essential to keeping those small cavities free of debris and to keep the whole machine clean. Clean more frequently during softwood processing, dry periods, or in the fall when leaves are dry. It’s also a good idea when excessive oil leaks occur within the machine framework.
- With the addition of cooling fans for engine compartments, more dust is likely to be moving within those compartments; therefore, more frequent cleaning is recommended. ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT DUST MOVING THROUGH THESE AREAS CAN CAUSE STATIC ELECTRICITY – AN IGNITION SOURCE!