Household Chemical Dangers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/11/03

Household Chemical Dangers

Always read warning labels. Always read warning labels.

A Savannah family had a huge scare early this morning when an explosion rocked their home and sent them running for the door...and their lives. The cause was bug bomb foggers the family set off. WTOC spoke with the family, and fortunately they're doing just fine. No one was hurt. But firefighters say it could have been a lot worse: the family could have lost their home or their lives. And they say it's just one more reason why you have to follow directions when you're working with chemicals.

When Hitch Village resident Charlesetta Seabrain set out three bug bomb foggers she didn't know the foggers would not only take out the roaches, but the front windows as well.

"I had just finished drinking a soda water and I was lying down and a 'booossh' scared me and I just freaked out," she recalled.

Seabrain was able to grab her two young grandchildren and rush out the door.

"Thank God I got my grandchildren out because they were still asleep," she said. "They didn't hear anything."

A neighbor called the fire department. Firefighters believe fumes from the bug killer spread through the kitchen, coming into contact with a pilot light on the stove, then igniting. Firefighters say most household fires and explosions are caused by accident. They say even if you're using a common household product like a fogger, it's absolutely critical that you read the directions.

"They are an aerosol product that has a flammable propellant and it can catch fire, obviously, from what happened yesterday," said Battalion Chief Anthony Faust.

Firefighters say make sure you read the entire label on any chemical product. Look for warnings, like the one on the fogger Seabrain used, to put out all pilot lights. And pay special attention to flammable warnings. As for Seabrain, she says she'll make sure she checks the warning labels now, and she'll find another way to kill the bugs.

Firefighters say if you have questions about how to use any pesticides or other chemicals, call a pest control expert or your local fire department.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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