Grow Tents have various electrical components that can overheat and cause different safety issues, especially when placed inside a house. This made me wonder, can a grow tent catch fire?
Can a grow tent catch fire? A grow tent can be a huge fire hazard in any place due to the fact that it contains different complicated electrical structures that can overheat and fail for various reasons.
A lot of indoor gardening hobbyists tend to worry about the possibility of a fire hazard when they are first starting their grow tent setup. To be honest, they are right to a certain extent. Grow tents could be a huge fire hazard not only for your plants but for your entire house as well.
In this article I will teach you the reasons why a grow tent could catch fire and how to fireproof your grow tent. However, it is extremely important for me to teach you how to extinguish a grow tent fire before moving forward to the previously mentioned points.
How To Extinguish A Grow Tent Fire?
A grow tent fire is considered a class C fire that is caused by the electrical appliances used inside the grow tent. Electrical fires are a lot different to deal with when compared to other types of fires.
As a general rule, fire hazards are classified into 5 categories:
|Class A||Wood, paper, cloth, and other combustibles|
|Class B||Grease, Oil paint, Solvents, and other flammables|
|Class C||Electrical Equipment and Wiring|
|Class D||Combustible Metal|
|Class K||Commercial cooking equipment|
So, we have identified the different fire classes, it’s now time to know the methods to use when trying to extinguish a fire caused by a grow tent.
DO NOT Use WATER
Usually, water is the first thing that comes to mind when we are trying to put out a fire in any emergency situation. To this day, a vast majority of people think that water is the universal solution to any fire situation.
As I have mentioned previously, grow tent fires are electrical fires. The last thing you would like to use is water when dealing with a fire that is caused by electricity. Using water in this situation, will not only get you electrocuted, but it can also help spread the fire further.
Disconnect Any Electricity Supply To The Grow Tent
Before thinking of using any fire extinguisher, or doing anything to try and put the fire out, your should disconnect all of the electricity supply that is connected to the grow tent devices. This step is critical in dealing with Class C fires.
If the fire has spread enough that it prevents you from reaching the electricity outlet, you should disconnect the electricity of the entire house from the main control panel that will be usually placed in the basement.
Use Class C Fire Extinguisher
Class C fire extinguishers are specifically designed to put out electrical fires. Make sure you have one or two of them near the grow tent place so that you can use them immediately whenever in need.
When using the fire extinguisher, try aiming for the inside of the grow tent where all the heaters and grow lights are. The next step is to aim for any wiring cords and electrical device that is placed outside the grow tent like dehumidifiers.
If you don’t have a class C fire extinguisher, you could use sufficient quantities of baking soda.
Use A Heavy Blanket
A heavy blanket could be useful in putting out a fire by immediately cutting out the oxygen supply to the fire. It is used on electrical devices that are outside the grow tents such as dehumidifiers and power outlets.
Reasons Why A Grow Tent Catches Fire
Almost 90% of the fires that happen in a grow tent are caused by electricity. In order for us to make a grow tent fireproof, we must understand the factors that resulted in a fire in the first place.
As we all know, grow tents need a lot of electrical equipment to run. The electrical equipment used tends to use an immense amount of power. Since all of the used electrical equipment is placed in one place, aka the grow tent. A lot of growers tend to fall into the mistake of grouping and connecting all of the device’s power supply to a single power outlet.
In many cases, this has resulted in absolute disasters. In 2017, a second-floor front bedroom in Lewiston Idaho caught fire and was saved by the fire officers. After investigation, Paul Ouellette revealed that the fire started because of a grow operation inside the apartment using a grow tent. He advised not to overload circuits. “The amount of electricity to operate a grow station can overload circuits” he said emphasizing the importance of distributing the power load correctly across several power outlets.
The amount of electricity to operate a grow station can overload circuitsInvestigator Paul Ouellette
Old Electrical Appliances
Every manufactured product has an estimated lifespan. Running any electrical device for extended periods of time beyond its original lifespan does risk the possibility of the device breaking down.
In our situation, a device breakdown is the last thing we would want to happen inside a grow tent. Breakdowns can come in the form of worn-out wirings or broken electrical boards. Old grow lights and heaters could result in wiring melting down that can most probably result in setting up the whole grow tent on fire.
Running the growing lights for 8 hours a day without proper ventilation, especially on summer days, will most likely lead to raising the internal temperature of the grow tent. In some cases, grow tent temperature can exceed 120°F.
You need to make sure that your grow tent is well-ventilated to avoid this issue.
Water In Direct Contact With Electricity
A grow tent is one of the few places where water and electricity run side by side. Watering the soil pots daily seems like a normal thing to do when trying to grow plants indoors. However, it possesses a huge fire hazard in itself.
Moreover, you might have a condensation issue that results in making your grow tent wet which might get in contact with any electrical equipment and start up a fire.
How To Fireproof A Grow Tent?
In this section, I am going to walk you through the actions that we could take to fireproof a grow tent.
So, How To Fireproof A Grow Tent?
- Hang Class C Automatic Fire Extinguisher Balls
- Use A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter
- Proper Cable Insulation
- Distribute The Power Input
- Install A Climate Control Monitoring System
Hang Class C Automatic Fire Extinguisher Balls
The automatic fire extinguisher balls can significantly help you fireproof your grow tent. Once the heat had reached the fire extinguisher balls, they explode in a matter of millie seconds spreading the extinguisher powder that will put out any fire inside the grow tent.
Installing fire extinguisher balls is super easy, you just need to hang them in any corner of the grow tent. Make sure that the fire extinguisher balls are of class C which is targeted toward electrical fire hazards.
Use A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter
Using a GFCI will help you prevent the fire before it even starts. The GFCI will detect any loss or change in the electrical current that is most likely the result of electrical fires. After detection, the GFCI automatically cuts off the electrical current, which prevents the fire from even starting out.
GFCI comes in various forms, the most popular types are the fixed GFCI outlet and the GFCI power stripe. Both are excellent fireproof solutions. However, a GFCI power stripe would be more easy and quick to install. Most importantly, you need to get a power strip with a high amper capacity. A 20 amp GFCI can work fine for a fully operational grow tent.
Proper Cable Insulation
Insulating the cables inside the grow tent can significantly reduce the risk of catching fire. You can group the cables inside an insulated cable tunnel and run them through a corner of the grow tent where there is a low probability to contact water.
Distribute The Power Input
As I have mentioned before, overloading the power outputs is one of the leading causes of starting a fire. By distributing your glow lights, heater, dehumidifier, and any other electrical device on more than 1 power outlet, you prevent the possibility of overloading the power circuit. Thus you are less likely to have a grow tent fire.
Install A Climate Control Monitoring System
As technology advances, there are newer and more effective methods that we can use to manage any indoor gardening method. An online climate control system will allow you to be continuously up to date with your grow tent conditions. In case of any fluctuations present in the growing conditions, it will automatically send you a notification through the connected app on your mobile phone.
Antoine Puglisevich, a grower in Malta, was using a grow tent inside his house. He suddenly received a notification through his mobile phone that the grow tent did catch fire. “My mother was asleep at the time of the fire. Had I not installed this climate control system, I could have lost her. Homes can be rebuilt but lives can never be brought back.” he said. This shows us the significance of owning a climate monitoring system.
My mother was asleep at the time of the fire. Had I not installed this climate control system, I could have lost her. Homes can be rebuilt but lives can never be brought back.”Antoine Puglisevich