Whether you pursue blacksmithing as a hobby or a career, safety is the most crucial component of running a foundry or workshop. Blacksmithing is a unique and rewarding craft, but it can also be dangerous for several reasons. Furnaces reach extreme temperatures, which can cause contact burns or fires to break out. Learn some of the top tips to promote fire safety in your smithing foundry.
Wear Proper Safety Gear
Before you begin working on a blacksmithing project of any scale, start by wearing the proper personal protective gear. Blacksmithing PPE includes items such as safety glasses or goggles, hearing protection, masks and respirators, heat-resistant gloves, flame-retardant aprons, and heavy-duty footwear. Items such as heat-resistant gloves and clothing will reduce your chances of sustaining burns while handling hot metals. However, you should always avoid direct contact with hot materials and forge parts. Whether you have a professional or personal workshop, safety gear is an essential category of blacksmithing equipment you’ll need.
Maintain Your Equipment
Using defective equipment around your forge can cause fires or even explosions in your workshop. Always check the quality of your equipment between uses to avoid these accidents. Practice regular equipment inspections to ensure your equipment is in good condition for forging. Sometimes things like small cracks and moisture buildup can go unnoticed if you skip a close inspection. If you notice these signs of damage, stop work and schedule your tools for repairs or replace them.
Use Fire Prevention Methods
Fire prevention is critical in a foundry. Any blacksmith’s workshop should have the tools necessary to deal with any type of fire. Some chemical and electrical fires are particularly tricky to extinguish because dousing them in water will only cause more damage. Be sure to stock your workshop with fire extinguishers, fire safety blankets, and other equipment to prevent the spread of fire. If you use the forge often, you should also consider installing sprinklers or alarm systems, especially if your foundry is on the larger side.
These tips to promote fire safety in your foundry can help prevent injuries, damage to your property and equipment, and more. Remember to practice these safety guidelines before every project, no matter how large or small your forge is.