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kiln placement - this could save you life!

updated fri 5 mar 99


Daniel Russ on thu 4 mar 99

I have been following the Kiln Placement thread with more than the usual =
of interest.

First, on the chances that we are taking on burning our houses down. I=92m a
firefighter by trade. I have attended many, many fires. Only a few of these =
been caused by =22acts of God=22. Most of the other fires have been caused =

Over the past years I have read (and responded to) statements like, =22 My =
kiln is
doing just fine in the laundry room, held up by empty gasoline cans=22. A =
exaggeration, of course. It gives me heartburn just to think of it.

I have thought about the relationshipof a fire in a house that was started =
an operating kiln: HOT kiln + combustible wall, paper, junk, etc. nearby =3D
potential to burn you house down, maim and/or kill your family. It=92s that

Kilns are made to be safe, too bad humans are not. I have seen untold misery
from the victims of fire. We in the fire service have managed to reduce the
victims of fire by two-thirds during my career. Still we lose over five =
lives to the red devil each year in the good old U.S. of A.

As Nevada Dan (my small business) I sell kilns and other pottery supplies. =
with every kiln that I sell, not one has been delivered without my advice on=
to make the kiln site as safe as possible. Most have taken my advice.

Here=92s Dan=92s list of how to make your installation as safe as possible:

1. Make sure that your wiring for the kiln is adequate. The help of an
electrician is mandatory for this portion. Owner installed (usually =
wiring is just what you insurance company needs, to try to deny a claim.

2. Make a heat shield. It can be as simple as a piece of sheet rock cut in =
(cement board is better). Set it one inch out from the wall with a gap at =
sides, top and bottom. This will allow for air circulation behind the sheet
rock. Think about where your nail and screwheads are located. They can act =
heat-sinks (transmitting heat into wood). Set you kiln at least one foot =
the wall and on concrete, not wood=21

3. Secure the kiln so that if it gets bumped during operation it won=92t =
fall over. We in the West should think about earthquakes. Ask yourself, =
will happen if my kiln falls over when it=92s 2,300 degrees (F.) inside and =
apart?=22 =22Ouch, what am I going to do with all that HOT stuff=22. This =
is another
reason that I like concrete.

4. Look around the kiln. Is there junk that can fall onto or over on your =
kiln? Make sure there isn=92t. This is a time and place to be tidy=21

5. Stay home. No kiln should be operated unattended=21

6. Have a working smoke detector between you and your kiln. False alarms may=
annoying. But running out of your burning house in the middle night is much

7. Gas fired kilns belong outside, away from the house=21

We all tend to do what is easy. Frequently we fail to think of the =
of our inaction.

My list is is a work in progress. It contains what I think are reasonable =
inexpensive) steps one can take to make their home or studio safer from the
ravages of fire.

Most of us have violated one or more of these suggestions. But now that we =
more conscious of the dangers associated with kiln placement and use, maybe =
can be a little safer in the future. Use your uncommon sense, think, and =

I sincerely hope that I have not offended anyone. My intent is for us to =
repete the mistakes of others.

Thank You,

Nevada Dan (and at