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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Overheated Paving Slab Causes Minor Explosion

16/03/11

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to take extra care if they have to burn garden waste following an unusual incident in Walton, Stone.

 

“It’s not a common known fact that quartz can be explosive and so we’d urge people to seek advice before carrying out controlled burning."

Assistant Area Commander for Stafford, Simon Craythorn.

A family were burning garden waste in a metal bin in their back garden on Whitemill Lane, when the paving slab they had placed the bin on, exploded. Debris from the paving slab and the bin were thrown into the air, resulting in one child suffering minor burns to his neck. The fire and rescue service weren’t required at the time of the incident however an officer visited the family on Tuesday evening to investigate what had happened.

Assistant Area Commander for Stafford, Simon Craythorn, who visited the property said: “The paving slab that the bin was placed on contained the mineral quartz which can shatter with explosive force when it overheats. Luckily the burns sustained by the child, were just minor but they could have been a lot worse, particularly if there was a larger paving slab involved or if the debris had ignited grass or garden furniture.

“It’s not a common known fact that quartz can be explosive and so we’d urge people to seek advice before carrying out controlled burning. Most building merchants should be able to advise on non combustible containers and what they can safely be placed on. We’d also remind people that although they should always monitor controlled burning, to ensure it doesn’t get out of control, they should do so from a safe distance, also place the container away from other buildings or structures and make sure the container isn’t overloaded. A safer and more environmentally friendly option would be to recycle the rubbish.”