Jump to content

Lansing's Useful Idiot-The Detroit News


Recommended Posts

Can't wait for the expose on space heaters and blow dryers that reach 1000 watts and more!

 

Newspapers have developed what might be called a vested interest in catastrophe. If they can spot a fight, they play up that fight. If they can uncover a tragedy, they will headline that tragedy.

- Harry A. Overstreet

 

 

http://detnews.com/article/20110627/METRO/106270363/1409/rss36

 

Last Updated: June 27. 2011 1:00AM

Home-based pot growers face burning issue

Fire officials say grow lamps can overload electrical circuits

Charles E. Ramirez/ The Detroit News

 

Richmond— Michigan's medical marijuana law appears to be sparking more than just political fires.

 

The law also has created a booming cottage industry of marijuana growers, but some of these would-be green thumbs are causing house fires by overloading electrical systems with grow lamps and other devices, experts say.

 

"Grow lamps can be a tremendous load on (a home's) electrical service," said Brian Batten, vice president of the Michigan Fire Inspectors Society. The nearly 600-member group represents the state's fire inspectors, provides education and monitors fire code changes.

 

"Most people who are growing medical marijuana … if they do it right and they do it safely, they'll be fine," said Batten, who is also the Ferndale fire marshal.

 

"But they have to make sure their home's electrical system can handle the load."

 

In April, Macomb Township's Fire Department responded to a fire in a subdivision near 22 Mile and Hayes. Firefighters found marijuana plants and a grow operation in the home's basement. Township Fire Chief Robert Phillips said the cause of the fire was faulty wiring.

 

Last year, 145 out of 14,918 fires in Michigan were determined to have been caused by an electrical problem, according to the state's Bureau of Fire Services in Lansing.

 

The agency doesn't track or keep statistics on fires started by grow lamps or other electrical devices, said Michigan Fire Marshal Ronald Farr. Still, it happens enough that Batten said he now includes the topic in his lectures and seminars for other public safety officials.

 

In 2008, Michigan voters approved a law that allows medical patients suffering from certain conditions to legally consume marijuana after registering with the state. Patients must provide written proof of their condition from a doctor.

Caregivers can grow pot

 

Under the law, state licensed caregivers can provide or grow marijuana for a qualifying patient who is too ill to grow his own. Caregivers can provide each of their patients with up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana, according to the state's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

 

In addition, caregivers can grow up to 12 marijuana plants per patient, and each caregiver can have up to five patients.

 

Many growers prefer to cultivate the plants indoors. Some use a soil-free process called hydroponics. With or without soil, raising plants indoors enables a grower to be independent of Mother Nature.

 

To get maximum yield, indoor growers use lamps to simulate daylight. In hydroponics, they also use devices such as pumps to move nutrients to roots, fans and blowers to circulate air, machines that generate carbon dioxide, air scrubbers to eliminate odors and air conditioners to regulate the temperature.

 

"It can get quite sophisticated," said Walter Bobik, owner of Richmond Hydroponics Home Supply in Richmond. "And of course, there's a right way and a wrong way to grow."

 

The wrong way is to plug too many lamps and other growth-promoting devices into a home's electrical system, Bobik said.

 

"Some of the lamps are 1,000 watts," he said. "People will put a bunch of the lamps together and plug them into an extension cord and plug that into a single outlet."

 

Unfortunately, after that a fire usually ignites, Batten said.

Overloads not only concern

 

There are other safety concerns, too, including excess carbon dioxide, improper duct work and incidents of electricity theft.

 

While carbon dioxide is good for plants, too much of it in a home displaces the oxygen, and people in it can suffocate, Batten said. Air ducts that aren't hung properly or securely can ensnare firefighters during a rescue.

 

And unscrupulous growers who steal electricity put themselves and others at risk. "Firefighters responding to a fire at a home will turn off the power before they go in," Batten said. "If someone has spliced into another wire to get more electricity to grow plants, firefighters may not know about it and go into a structure that still has power."

 

John Austerberry, a DTE Energy spokesman, said the Detroit-based utility is frequently forced to deal with electrical theft for illegal marijuana growing operations. One such operation the company came across was using about $1,200 worth of electricity a month, which is four to six times more than the average home in the area uses, he said.

 

Proponents of medical marijuana say growers must be cautious if they're going to cultivate the plants in homes.

 

"Safety is always an issue," said Michael Komorn, a Southfield lawyer and board member of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, which advocates for patients, caregivers and health providers. "Most caregivers want to comply with the state's laws," he said. "And they want to make sure their grow rooms are set up to be safe."

 

cramirez@detnews.com

 

(313) 222-2058

 

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110627/METRO/106270363/Home-based-pot-growers-face-burning-issue#ixzz1QTLz8W4U

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Never ceases to amaze me with how one can make headlines out of nothing.

 

Buried in the article the author states that less than 1% of house fires are caused by electrical problems. Now with less than 1% of homes growing, it would suggest that electrical fires caused by lights should amount to less than 1.5 "Statewide". Sounds like a massive public safety problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Safety should always be first whenever there is a fire risk.

 

But lets do try to focus on the top ongoing causes of fires and fire related fatalities:


  •  
  • Cooking
  • Smoking
  • Heating
     

Here's a disturbing trend that really needs government and private industry to focus on mitigating:

 

res_cooking_fire_trend.jpg

Chart provided by: US Fire Administration

 

Cooking, of all things, cooking is a leading cause of fires and a threat to children and seniors.

I'd like to see a weekly write up in the Detroit News on how not to kill your family while cooking breakfast.

 

 

Top Five causes of Residential fires

 

House fires made up 85 percent of fire-related deaths in the U.S. during 2009, according to statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Although the flames from a house fire are dangerous, most people who fall victim to house fires succumb to the smoke or toxic gasses put off by a fire.

 

1.

Cooking

*

 

Cooking a meal in a house is the number one cause of house fires, according to the CDC. Always keep a close eye on food that is cooking since food that overcooks will eventually catch fire. If the food you are cooking on the stove catches fire, moving the pot or pan may actually spread the fire further since you can slosh grease or the food out onto the stovetop, counter or floor. One of the best actions to take if the food you are cooking catches fire is to turn off the heat source, and cover up the food with a metal lid, if possible, cutting off the oxygen supply to the fire.

Heat Sources

*

 

Furnaces, space heaters, fireplaces and other sources of heat for your home come in second for house fires. You can prevent a fire by having your furnace serviced regularly and switching out the air filters regularly, cleaning your chimney every year and using space heaters in only the ways prescribed by the manufacturer. Using a heater to dry out clothing or shoes can also lead to a fire, so air dry clothing instead.

Smoking

*

 

Cigarettes and cigars burn extremely hot, and they can stay that way for hours after you finish smoking them. Deep ashtrays help keep the embers from any objects they can ignite. Avoid smoking near beds or couches since they can easily catch fire. Smoking while drowsy, drinking heavily or using medication that makes you drowsy can lead to your dropping a cigarette and starting a fire. Smoking is the leading cause of deaths related to fires, according to the CDC.

Electrical

*

 

Bad wiring in a home can lead to arcing or an exposed wire coming into contact with a wall stud or insulation, causing a fire. If you are concerned about your house's wiring, hire an electrician to perform an inspection and fix any potential dangers. The electrical appliances in your house should not have damaged power cords. Abusing extension cords, running them under rugs or attaching too many devices to them will also lead to fires.

Candles

*

 

While candles may look nice and create a certain feel for a special occasion, they also provide a potential source of house fires. Candles need to be used with a holder that will keep them upright at all times, and you need to put the holder on a steady surface. Being aware of the location of the candles in your house will help you not to knock any over accidentally. Never leave a candle burning when you are not there to watch it since it can start a fire without your knowledge.

 

 

Read more: The Top Five Main Causes of House Fires | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8465787_top-main-causes-house-fires.html#ixzz1QTZzaln4

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a friend who is a fireman and he says the majority of his calls are started by clothes dryers.

 

Maybe we should outlaw them to save the children.

 

In fact, let's outlaw electricity and go back to living in caves.

 

If we absolutely have to have electricity we can go to special government energy centers and pay inflated prices on a per use basis!

 

What a wonderful world it will be when everything is illegal if it isn't supplied by the kindly police state! It shouldn't be long now! :thumbsu:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, plants thrive in CO2 levels around 1000-1500 PPM. It takes almost 10 times that to make you sick, and somewhere near 100,000 ppm to kill you.

 

I read somewhere that LA California has CO2 levels in the city sitting around 1400ppm... So that means properly supplemented Co2 grow rooms are about as dangerous as being in LA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, plants thrive in CO2 levels around 1000-1500 PPM. It takes almost 10 times that to make you sick, and somewhere near 100,000 ppm to kill you.

 

I read somewhere that LA California has CO2 levels in the city sitting around 1400ppm... So that means properly supplemented Co2 grow rooms are about as dangerous as being in LA.

 

 

:lol:I'd still rather breath my grow room air just the same...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't wait for the expose on space heaters and blow dryers that reach 1000 watts and more!

 

Newspapers have developed what might be called a vested interest in catastrophe. If they can spot a fight, they play up that fight. If they can uncover a tragedy, they will headline that tragedy.

- Harry A. Overstreet

 

 

http://detnews.com/a...0363/1409/rss36

 

Last Updated: June 27. 2011 1:00AM

Home-based pot growers face burning issue

Fire officials say grow lamps can overload electrical circuits

Charles E. Ramirez/ The Detroit News

 

Richmond— Michigan's medical marijuana law appears to be sparking more than just political fires.

 

The law also has created a booming cottage industry of marijuana growers, but some of these would-be green thumbs are causing house fires by overloading electrical systems with grow lamps and other devices, experts say.

 

"Grow lamps can be a tremendous load on (a home's) electrical service," said Brian Batten, vice president of the Michigan Fire Inspectors Society. The nearly 600-member group represents the state's fire inspectors, provides education and monitors fire code changes.

 

"Most people who are growing medical marijuana … if they do it right and they do it safely, they'll be fine," said Batten, who is also the Ferndale fire marshal.

 

"But they have to make sure their home's electrical system can handle the load."

 

In April, Macomb Township's Fire Department responded to a fire in a subdivision near 22 Mile and Hayes. Firefighters found marijuana plants and a grow operation in the home's basement. Township Fire Chief Robert Phillips said the cause of the fire was faulty wiring.

 

Last year, 145 out of 14,918 fires in Michigan were determined to have been caused by an electrical problem, according to the state's Bureau of Fire Services in Lansing.

 

The agency doesn't track or keep statistics on fires started by grow lamps or other electrical devices, said Michigan Fire Marshal Ronald Farr. Still, it happens enough that Batten said he now includes the topic in his lectures and seminars for other public safety officials.

 

In 2008, Michigan voters approved a law that allows medical patients suffering from certain conditions to legally consume marijuana after registering with the state. Patients must provide written proof of their condition from a doctor.

Caregivers can grow pot

 

Under the law, state licensed caregivers can provide or grow marijuana for a qualifying patient who is too ill to grow his own. Caregivers can provide each of their patients with up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana, according to the state's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

 

In addition, caregivers can grow up to 12 marijuana plants per patient, and each caregiver can have up to five patients.

 

Many growers prefer to cultivate the plants indoors. Some use a soil-free process called hydroponics. With or without soil, raising plants indoors enables a grower to be independent of Mother Nature.

 

To get maximum yield, indoor growers use lamps to simulate daylight. In hydroponics, they also use devices such as pumps to move nutrients to roots, fans and blowers to circulate air, machines that generate carbon dioxide, air scrubbers to eliminate odors and air conditioners to regulate the temperature.

 

"It can get quite sophisticated," said Walter Bobik, owner of Richmond Hydroponics Home Supply in Richmond. "And of course, there's a right way and a wrong way to grow."

 

The wrong way is to plug too many lamps and other growth-promoting devices into a home's electrical system, Bobik said.

 

"Some of the lamps are 1,000 watts," he said. "People will put a bunch of the lamps together and plug them into an extension cord and plug that into a single outlet."

 

Unfortunately, after that a fire usually ignites, Batten said.

Overloads not only concern

 

There are other safety concerns, too, including excess carbon dioxide, improper duct work and incidents of electricity theft.

 

While carbon dioxide is good for plants, too much of it in a home displaces the oxygen, and people in it can suffocate, Batten said. Air ducts that aren't hung properly or securely can ensnare firefighters during a rescue.

 

And unscrupulous growers who steal electricity put themselves and others at risk. "Firefighters responding to a fire at a home will turn off the power before they go in," Batten said. "If someone has spliced into another wire to get more electricity to grow plants, firefighters may not know about it and go into a structure that still has power."

 

John Austerberry, a DTE Energy spokesman, said the Detroit-based utility is frequently forced to deal with electrical theft for illegal marijuana growing operations. One such operation the company came across was using about $1,200 worth of electricity a month, which is four to six times more than the average home in the area uses, he said.

 

Proponents of medical marijuana say growers must be cautious if they're going to cultivate the plants in homes.

 

"Safety is always an issue," said Michael Komorn, a Southfield lawyer and board member of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, which advocates for patients, caregivers and health providers. "Most caregivers want to comply with the state's laws," he said. "And they want to make sure their grow rooms are set up to be safe."

 

cramirez@detnews.com

 

(313) 222-2058

 

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/a...e#ixzz1QTLz8W4U

 

I grow just fine with 450 watts max . However I only grow for myself . My air conditioners use 1300 watts and run whether I grow or not . All my appliances are on separate circuits . I hope patients do not end up with required inspections but I can see them for sure try to stick it to caregivers because obviously this is where they want to target and have another tool against illegal operations . A obvious revenue stream attempt that will prob alley find everyone nodding their heads in approval raising costs and increasing intrusion into homes . Making it necessary for patient information to be public for Law and Fire departments . Further it will increase the need for those in our movement that want to rent legal grow spaces in commercial zones so be ready to be hit from all directions . All this further supports a black market margin and activity . The real answer is to encourage outdoor growing over limits in season allowing for storage up to a reasonable amount which isn'[t the case .Or they could give outlines which if kept under people would not be at any risk or just educate like the compassion clubs were until people were scared away from them in droves . I hear many patients use a few ounces a week or more if cooking too . Bend over and compromise .

Edited by Croppled1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grow just fine with 450 watts max . However I only grow for myself . My air conditioners use 1300 watts and run whether I grow or not . All my appliances are on separate circuits . I hope patients do not end up with required inspections but I can see them for sure try to stick it to caregivers because obviously this is where they want to target and have another tool against illegal operations . A obvious revenue stream attempt that will prob alley find everyone nodding their heads in approval raising costs and increasing intrusion into homes . Making it necessary for patient information to be public for Law and Fire departments . Further it will increase the need for those in our movement that want to rent legal grow spaces in commercial zones so be ready to be hit from all directions . All this further supports a black market margin and activity . The real answer is to encourage outdoor growing over limits allowing for storage up to a reasonable amount which isn'[t the case . I hear many patients use a few ounces a week or more if cooking too . Bend over and compromise .

 

This is a fabulous growth area in Michigan for competent compassionate trades people.

 

I know that most of the newbie grow room builders who popped up have disappeared and the ones left are skilled carpenters and electricians. I seen a really nice 10x10 set up a guy had built for $2,000.00 complete.

 

I know that's out of reach for a majority of patients (me,I have about $750.00 in mine) but to know that there are a lot of good people still out there willing to help is a good sign.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing that I think is silly is that they want to regulate all of this "MMJ" market. But anyone can walk into a grow store, buy $10,000 worth of lights, plug them all into a single jacked circuit in their house, and as long as they are growing tomatoes or lettuce in their basement it is fine. 100% completely fine.

 

But Ohh, grow MMJ and now you have to be inspected. And it is dangerous and might cause a fire from all the mold because its MMJ...

 

No reality is, a grow room is a grow room, no matter if you grow MMJ, or celery, yet they only want to regulate the MMJ.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...