Published on: September 27, 2012

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan says that, starting September 1, 2012, there is a ban on wood landscaping mulch within 18 inches of the base of wood- or vinyl-sided buildings.  Small residential buildings with fewer than six units are exempt.  But Coan says all property manager and homeowners should consider following the safety rule.

 He says crushed rock is safer close to outside walls, and safe containers for discarded smoking materials outside will discourage careless dropping of cigarettes.

 Coan says the rule comes after several mulch fires that spread to buildings. 

 He said a cigarette-lit mulch fire caused nearly $7 million in damage to a Peabody apartment complex in 2008.  Last April, a similar fire forced evacuation of a Braintree assisted living center, where some residents suffered smoke inhalation.


[Click here for a copy of the Ruling]