Mulch is a combustible material that can be easily ignited by
improperly discarded smoking materials. Hundreds of small and
large fires are started this way every year. The risk is that what
starts as a small outdoor mulch fire can quickly spread to buildings.
A mulch fire can be well underway before someone notices or is
alerted by smoke alarms or sprinkler systems activating.
Regulation on Mulch Safety
Safe use of mulch is regulated through 527 CMR 1.00, section
10.14.10.4. The regulation prohibits new application of mulch
within 18” around combustible exteriors of buildings, such as
wood or vinyl, but not brick or concrete. Residential buildings with
six units or less are exempted from the regulation, but all homeowners may want to adopt these
safety practices. The regulation applies to all other buildings including commercial properties.