Growing microgreens in grow tents is popular as they provide an ideal environment for growing indoors. As your grow tent setup require light, electricity, and contains dry materials, a common concern is if grow tents are a fire hazard.
Are grow tents a fire hazard? Grow tents are in general safe when you use quality equipment that is installed correctly. It’s good practise to keep your grow tent clean and tidy from any flammable objects, using quality light installations, keeping electronics away from water, and don’t overload circuits. These may seem like obvious actions but your grow tent can become a fire hazard if you don’t take care of it and take the necessary steps for prevention.
Growing microgreens in a grow tent is a great solution for indoor growing, but you want to make sure it’s done with safety in mind. Keep on reading to learn more about when grow tents can become a fire hazard and what you can do to fire-proof your setup.
What are grow tents?
Grow tents are made for growing edibles and plants indoors all year round. These tents can be very favorable for growing microgreens as they can help you to create an optimal environment. They are usually made out of flexible materials such as canvas and you can buy them as an entire package with fans and lights. The inside of the tent is commonly made out of the material Mylar. This is a reflective material allowing for an even distribution of light in the grow tent.
Benefits of using grow tents
Grow tents are beneficial in many ways:
- They come in various sizes, shapes, and different budgets.
- They provide the optimal environment which you may have difficulty providing otherwise depending on your living conditions.
- They use space efficiently as you can put them in places where you would otherwise not get ideal growing conditions.
- Growing microgreens in a grow tent improves your growing conditions dramatically and it provides you ease at mind having complete control of temperature and lighting.
- They provide for excellent light conditions as the walls will reflect lights, providing the optimal conditions for your plants to grow. You can put a timer to ensure your microgreens get the darkness and light needed.
- As the tents are closed you also keep any unwanted guests like whiteflies, spider mites, and other pests away. Just remember to keep the tent closed!
- Many grow tents come with a good air filtration system which is needed for strong and healthy growth.
All these amazing factors make it popular to invest in a grow tent, but there are several essential parts you must consider to ensure that your setup doesn’t become a serious hazard.
How do fires start in grow tents?
Before we go into what factors you must consider when setting up a grow tent, let us look at what may cause a fire in the first place. Knowing this will also help to understand the measures required to avoid them from happening.
Different factors can contribute to grow tents catching fire. Let’s go through some of the more common ones.
- Malfunctioning equipment
There are several electrical and non-electrical devices used for indoor growing tents such as power strips, cables, lights, fans, etc which can all malfunction.
- Water and Electricity
Water and electricity don’t go well together. When water comes into contact with live electrical equipment it can carry the electricity to areas where it is not intended.
- Electrical mismanagement
One of the most significant grow-related hazards is a fire caused by electrical mismanagement. You can find yourself having electrical equipment that may be poorly wired and overloaded electrical circuits.
- Structural modifications
Grow tents come in a certain structure with the setup ready for installation. However, some growers may make their own modifications to the tent and this can cause hazards.
- Flammable areas nearby
There can be objects inside the tent which are flammable and should not be left there.
How to fireproof a grow tent
When buying a high quality grow tent, it’s ready for use and the providers deliver safe and reliable products. However, as mentioned, a fire hazard can be caused by other factors than the tent itself and there are actions you can take to fireproof your grow tent.
Invest in high-quality products
Always invest in high quality grow tents built of durable canvas materials over cheap plastic/vinyl tents. It may be tempting to go for a cheaper solution and save some bucks, but doing so may be more costly if you suffer a fire. If you are into growing microgreens, we’d strongly recommend to chose quality over cost. You shouldn’t jeopardize safety.
High-quality products mustn’t necessarily be much more expensive but it’s important that you quality-check and don’t bend on safety. An example can be that you may find it tempting to use some string to hang up your lights, but a safer option is to use a rope hanger.
You can buy grow tents like this on Amazon, which includes the entire package, ensuring you have all the necessary parts.
Keep electronics away from water
Keep any electronics away from water. Growing microgreens means using water, so you always have to be careful about not having water come in contact with electricity. This can cause your electronic devices (such as lights) to break and more dangerously, in water can cause electricity to go places it’s not supposed to.
Use proper lighting
Always use proper light for your grow tent. There are different types of lights to use such as HID, CMH, LED, and Fluorescent. Always use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage for the fixture or lamp. It’s important to not overload the outlets.
Whatever solution you chose always ensure that you buy them from a professional retailer and learn what is the best setup for your grow tent. If you buy the grow tent as a complete package, the light is in general included.
“To grow the biggest, strongest plants possible, you need to put together the ultimate grow light setup. It may appear to be common sense that the better your grow lights, the better your plants will turn out.
However, it’s not that as simple as finding the most expensive light and throwing it in your tent. We first need to define what the “best grow light setup” is. Then, you need to understand what this means in respect to your grow in particular.”
Keep flammable items outside
Keep any flammable items away from your light or where the light falls. As mentioned, it is important to always keep your tent clean and tidy. Remember to remove any objects which may flash burn.
Keep your tent neat with your microgreens only. Make it a habit of always take a look around and only close your tent when you have ensured there is nothing that can catch fire.
Install a fire extinguisher
It’s good practice to put a fire extinguisher close by your growing tent or even better to install an automatic one inside. Knowing that you have one will give you peace of mind.
A very good solution is to set an automatic fire extinguisher which automatically activates if a fire is detected. A popular choice is the Elide Fire Ball, which you can read more about here on Amazon. This is clearly a more pricy solution than the regular fire extinguisher, but also much safer.
As growing tents involves water, you must consider what you use to put out a fire. Never use water to put out an electrical fire as it can cause electrocution.
“Check your fire extinguisher. Electrical fires are a class C fire, which means that you will need an extinguisher that is appropriate for this type of fire. Most residential fire extinguishers are multi-purpose and labeled ABC, but it is crucial to verify this before using it on an electrical fire.”
Install a smoke detector
Last but certainly not least, install a smoke detector. Even though you have a fire extinguisher you should never do without a smoke detector. It may, unfortunately, happen that a fire can be caused even though we have taken all the prevention measures and been careful.
In all cases, we should be prepared and always have smoke detectors in our house and one close to the growing tent. If you’re warned early enough by the alarm you could possibly put out the fire yourself if there isn’t an immediate danger. This is a cheap solution which may save you a lot.
Remember what Benjamin Franklin said?
“An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure”
Keep growing & stay safe
We have gone through all the dangers which may cause a fire hazard, not to scare you off, but to prepare you and ensure that you can grow your microgreens in a safe environment.
Grow tents are great as they provide the ideal conditions and they are easy to use. Invest in quality products, set it up in a good location, and follow instructions and advise on fire safety. Though growing microgreens in grow tents are considered safe you can never be too careful when dealing with electricity and lighting of any kind.