New Massachusetts Mulch Fire-Safety Regulation
Under a law passed September 1st, new mulch fire-safety regulations will go into effect in response to costly fires caused by landscaping materials, including a 2008 mulch fire at an apartment complex in Peabody that caused nearly $7 million in damage. This new regulation will affect property owners as well as those that store and manufacture mulch.
The regulation requires property owners to keep mulch at least 18 inches away from larger buildings with combustible siding, such as wood or vinyl, starting Saturday, September 29th. Small residential buildings with fewer than six units are exempt, but should consider alternatives such as crushed rock as well.
The regulation also encompasses the storage and manufacture of mulch. It will require mulch piles to be placed 30 feet apart and be 25 feet from the property line.
This regulation impacts landlords of large buildings immediately, as they must comply by this Saturday or face legal liability. Landlords must move mulch at least a foot and a half away from applicable structures.