[hackerspaces] Tragedy in Oakland

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[hackerspaces] Tragedy in Oakland

Arclight
I'm sure folks have probably already heard about this, but if not,
there was a massive fire at an artist live/work type space in Oakland,
CA.  It looks there was a large loss of life:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/03/oakland-warehouse-party-fire-deaths

There is almost certain to be a lot more attention from authorities
coming to hackerspaces and other informal venues, with reason.  Now
would be a good time to:

-Make sure the exits are clear
-Get the fire extinguishers serviced
-Purchase a proper flammables cabinet (secondhand is ok - they go for
US$100 here on Craigslist) and put away all of the paint, solvent,
etc.
-Fix the dodgy wiring the right way.  This also includes getting rid
of extension cords in permanent use.
-Throw the piles of old shite and half-finished art that's been abandoned

Some pictures of their venue will give you an idea of how this could
have happened:
http://www.oaklandghostship.com/

In short, there's too much stuff, a lot of which is flammable.  The
second story loft was apparently only accessible by a ladder, and
regularly had many people in it for events. Unfortuntately, we can
look at their photo gallery and see a lot in common with our own
spaces.  Time to tidy up and fix shit!

This is a public service announcement from 23b Shop.

Arclight
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Re: [hackerspaces] Tragedy in Oakland

Sparr
Speaking of things that I've actually seen catch fire spontaneously in a hackerspace...

If you have a machine shop, dedicate a lidded metal trashcan for oily rags!

On Sat, Dec 3, 2016 at 10:42 PM, Arclight <[hidden email]> wrote:
-Make sure the exits are clear
-Get the fire extinguishers serviced
-Purchase a proper flammables cabinet (secondhand is ok - they go for
US$100 here on Craigslist) and put away all of the paint, solvent,
etc.
-Fix the dodgy wiring the right way.  This also includes getting rid
of extension cords in permanent use.
-Throw the piles of old shite and half-finished art that's been abandoned

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Re: [hackerspaces] Tragedy in Oakland

Christopher Agocs
Important correction: the oily rags that spontaneity combust are soaked in drying oils like Linseed or Tung, typically used for finishing wood. These oils oxidize in an exothermic reaction, which is why big piles of them can generate enough heat to ignite. Lubricating oils don't generate heat in the same way.

On Dec 4, 2016 1:04 AM, "Sparr" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Speaking of things that I've actually seen catch fire spontaneously in a hackerspace...

If you have a machine shop, dedicate a lidded metal trashcan for oily rags!

On Sat, Dec 3, 2016 at 10:42 PM, Arclight <[hidden email]> wrote:
-Make sure the exits are clear
-Get the fire extinguishers serviced
-Purchase a proper flammables cabinet (secondhand is ok - they go for
US$100 here on Craigslist) and put away all of the paint, solvent,
etc.
-Fix the dodgy wiring the right way.  This also includes getting rid
of extension cords in permanent use.
-Throw the piles of old shite and half-finished art that's been abandoned

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Re: [hackerspaces] Tragedy in Oakland

Scotty Allen
I had a very serious apartment fire due to boiled linseed oil soaked paper towels spontaneously combusting in my kitchen trash. No other ignition source. The fire fighters were thoroughly unsurprised, but nearly everyone else I tell this story to, including TechShop employees and experienced woodworkers are shocked. Spontaneous combustion is no joke - treat those oily rags with the respect they deserve.

-Scotty
On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 2:43 PM Christopher Agocs <[hidden email]> wrote:
Important correction: the oily rags that spontaneity combust are soaked in drying oils like Linseed or Tung, typically used for finishing wood. These oils oxidize in an exothermic reaction, which is why big piles of them can generate enough heat to ignite. Lubricating oils don't generate heat in the same way.

On Dec 4, 2016 1:04 AM, "Sparr" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Speaking of things that I've actually seen catch fire spontaneously in a hackerspace...

If you have a machine shop, dedicate a lidded metal trashcan for oily rags!

On Sat, Dec 3, 2016 at 10:42 PM, Arclight <[hidden email]> wrote:
-Make sure the exits are clear
-Get the fire extinguishers serviced
-Purchase a proper flammables cabinet (secondhand is ok - they go for
US$100 here on Craigslist) and put away all of the paint, solvent,
etc.
-Fix the dodgy wiring the right way.  This also includes getting rid
of extension cords in permanent use.
-Throw the piles of old shite and half-finished art that's been abandoned

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Re: [hackerspaces] Tragedy in Oakland

Sascha Kaupp
In reply to this post by Sparr
Hi,

> If you have a machine shop, dedicate a lidded metal trashcan for oily
> rags!

Since day one of owning linseed oil, it lives in a sealed ammunition
box together with its rags and brushes. Kinda creepy to see what happens
if you hurl one of those rags around for fun but still my fav for
conserving wood!

</h0uz3>
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Re: [hackerspaces] Tragedy in Oakland

Matt Joyce
Jesus.  death toll is at 24, could go to 30.

Just before the fucking holidays, too.  Such an utter fucking tragedy.

On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Sascha Kaupp <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

If you have a machine shop, dedicate a lidded metal trashcan for oily rags!

Since day one of owning linseed oil, it lives in a sealed ammunition box together with its rags and brushes. Kinda creepy to see what happens if you hurl one of those rags around for fun but still my fav for conserving wood!

</h0uz3>

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Re: [hackerspaces] Tragedy in Oakland

Chad Elish
That is so sad to hear. HackPGH’s hearts and thoughts are with their friends and families.

We all need to educate our spaces to these safety concerns and more.

Cheers!
-chad
President | HackPGH
Pittsburgh’s Hackerspace
1936 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
412.219.2723 (m)

On Dec 4, 2016, at 1:13 PM, Silence Dogood <[hidden email]> wrote:

Jesus.  death toll is at 24, could go to 30.

Just before the fucking holidays, too.  Such an utter fucking tragedy.

On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Sascha Kaupp <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

If you have a machine shop, dedicate a lidded metal trashcan for oily rags!

Since day one of owning linseed oil, it lives in a sealed ammunition box together with its rags and brushes. Kinda creepy to see what happens if you hurl one of those rags around for fun but still my fav for conserving wood!

</h0uz3>

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Re: [hackerspaces] Tragedy in Oakland

Bilal Ghalib
Thanks for this thread. Much love to all those who lost people.
Stay safe as you rock on.
+BG

On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 9:52 PM, Chad Elish <[hidden email]> wrote:
That is so sad to hear. HackPGH’s hearts and thoughts are with their friends and families.

We all need to educate our spaces to these safety concerns and more.

Cheers!
-chad
President | HackPGH
Pittsburgh’s Hackerspace
1936 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
<a href="tel:412.219.2723" value="+14122192723" target="_blank">412.219.2723 (m)

On Dec 4, 2016, at 1:13 PM, Silence Dogood <[hidden email]> wrote:

Jesus.  death toll is at 24, could go to 30.

Just before the fucking holidays, too.  Such an utter fucking tragedy.

On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Sascha Kaupp <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

If you have a machine shop, dedicate a lidded metal trashcan for oily rags!

Since day one of owning linseed oil, it lives in a sealed ammunition box together with its rags and brushes. Kinda creepy to see what happens if you hurl one of those rags around for fun but still my fav for conserving wood!

</h0uz3>

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Re: [hackerspaces] Tragedy in Oakland

opit-2
In reply to this post by Sascha Kaupp
++ on linseed oil. We nearly had a fire at Technarium recently due to
exactly that -- luckily, someone was at the space.

BTW, there's a relief effort underway:
https://helpghostship.tumblr.com/post/154052779705/ghost-ship-fire-relief-december-8-2pm-8pm
#o

On 12/04/16 18:10, Sascha Kaupp wrote:

> Hi,
>
>> If you have a machine shop, dedicate a lidded metal trashcan for oily
>> rags!
>
> Since day one of owning linseed oil, it lives in a sealed ammunition box
> together with its rags and brushes. Kinda creepy to see what happens if
> you hurl one of those rags around for fun but still my fav for
> conserving wood!
>
> </h0uz3>
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss


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Re: [hackerspaces] Tragedy in Oakland

B F
I suggest any Hackerspace develop a "laboratory safety plan" and procedures.  Google that term and you'll find such plans for university labs.  Not all points will apply, but you can get a gist what you should put in your plan. 

Basically, consider each and every possible hazard, including near-worst-case scenarios, and develop means to avoid the latter, and methods to response to accidents.  For example, to avoid trash can fires, don't  dispose of oily rags improperly.  This means you must have proper receptical for such rags, or at least an alternative to such (expensive) recepticals.  (Cigarettes disposed in trash cans or dropped into upholstery are probably more a fire issue worldwide than oily rags, but I doubt many makerspaces allow smoking for other reasons.)

Also have fire extinguishers.  You're probably required to anyway, whether you know it or not.  (Get class ABC extinguishers, by the way.  You should really know "why" if you think you need CO2 or Halon extinguishers -- they're not as effective generally.  Get a class D extinguisher if working with flammable metals. Water extinguishers should not be used in a Makerspace for good reasons.  Make sure your people know how to use your extinguishers.  There are probably YouTube videos to help.)

One thing that differs between most labs and most makerspaces -- the former prohibit eating in the lab.  There have been terrible cases of poisoning.  Not applicable to all spaces, but consider it for your plan.

Note that a lab safety plan includes a floor plan. This is to document storage, fume hoods, work spaces, aisles, doors, fire extinguishers, emergency eye wash stations, safety showers (common for labs but a rarity for a makerspace), escape paths, etc.  It also contains emergency contact phone numbers.  Of course 911 covers most of that these days, but the number of the building owner or manager or other such additional contacts could be useful in an emergency. 

If you're going to have a safety plan, safety inspections are called for to ensure it's being followed.  Get three people together to inspect the place at least monthly.  Give them ad hoc authority to FIX problems encountered.  This brings up the point that it's a LOT easier to enforce neatness rules if the motivation is safety -- not merely nuisance. 

If your makerspace has been safety conscious all along, there will probably be few real changes needed.  Use the plan to educate newbies.  But in reviewing potential hazards, it is not uncommon to find one that nobody had noticed before.  That's the main purpose.

On Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 3:08 PM, opit <[hidden email]> wrote:
++ on linseed oil. We nearly had a fire at Technarium recently due to
exactly that -- luckily, someone was at the space.

BTW, there's a relief effort underway:
<a href="https://helpghostship.tumblr.com/post/154052779705/ghost-ship-fire-relief-december-8-2pm-8pm #o" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">https://helpghostship.tumblr.com/post/154052779705/ghost-ship-fire-relief-december-8-2pm-8pm
#o

On 12/04/16 18:10, Sascha Kaupp wrote:
> Hi,
>
>> If you have a machine shop, dedicate a lidded metal trashcan for oily
>> rags!
>
> Since day one of owning linseed oil, it lives in a sealed ammunition box
> together with its rags and brushes. Kinda creepy to see what happens if
> you hurl one of those rags around for fun but still my fav for
> conserving wood!
>
> </h0uz3>
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss


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