Fire Safety in workshop

Hi Everyone

I am new to the Forum, and last week received my Onefinity Woodworker, including stand and QCW frame.
Really excited to get started, but thought I would just ask a question on shop safety. (I couldnt find any info on the forum?)

Does anyone have a dedicated fire extinguisher on hand incase anyhing goes South? And if so, which type? I read on some other CNC forums that the ABC class (the powder stuff) isnt great for small rooms and might be corrosive to machine and parts. Is a Carbon Dioxide fire extinguisher the way to go?

I plan on milling mostly wood and soft aluminium.


Yes, but it’s availability predates my cnc. Good idea to always have one readily accessible in a shop space.


I have one of these. I keep it in the shack with all my radio gear as it will not damage electronics like a dry chemical extinguisher will. Not cheap but nothing about a fire is cheap. I want to get more for all my cars and trucks.

I first heard of it while watching an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.

They can be used in many places and it has a longer discharge time
of 50 seconds. Almost 4x that of your typical ABC or BC extinguishers.

A test of the Element by a Fire Department.

Thee is also the First Alert Tundra extinguisher which is a the size of an aerosol paint can. They are inexpensive but it would not be my first choice.

1 Like

Those are awesome, too bad they are so expensive. $79.99 for the 50-Second and $119.99 for the 100-Second. I already have a plethora of standard extinguishers and at that price (while very cool) I’ll stick with the old standard.

Thanks for sharing that though!!



Yeah they are pricey and probably a better fit for a vehicle than a shop. But they are safe around electronics.

If you pump a bunch of that dry chemical into your controller or PC then it’s probably ready for the junk heap. So which is cheaper in the long run a new PC or controller or $80 for a fire extinguisher. Like I said I have only one right now in my radio shack but that’s because there is over $10K of radio gear and PCs in there and putting out a fire with a conventional extinguisher would make a complete mess.

The Element seemed like a good move for that situation.


Hi Everyone

Thank you for the informative tips.
I agree with Bob_D about the price. If I have to go and buy a fire extinguisher anyway, I might as well pick up one of these Element Fire Extinguishers, and not worry about pressure, maintenance or foam messing up my whole hobby room.

For people abroad, I saw that there is also a Swiss company selling a similar product:

There might be a british one as well, but I could not find the link, whilst writing here.

Thanks for the inputs!

1 Like

Reviving this topic-
My Makita router caught fire yesterday. I was about five minutes into a gentle spoil board resurfacing run when it made a strange noise. I immediately hit the stop button because I thought it sounded like the bit slipped out and was about to dig all the way through the surface- and poof- flames.
Easy and quick to extinguish the flames, but I was so glad that 1) I was standing right there and 2) was able to quickly put the small fire out. Unsure of what caused the overheating and fire, but happy that it went out as quickly as it started. No other damage.


Yikes! Very glad you were able to quickly get it under control.

It may be impossible to determine the cause, but one concern could be a build-up of dust in the router. These days, I have a water-cooled spindle. But back when I had my (mostly-3d-printed) V1 machines, I got in a habit of putting a lightweight sock over the router(s) to prevent most particulate matter from being sucked in. This has the added benefit, in my experience at least, of making the brushes last significantly longer as (I suspect) they are not ground down as quickly by larger particles. Maybe something to consider for the future.

Hey Matticustard, hey all,

the cause is known and always the same. Due to the type of motor that is inside the hand trim router, the speed is dependent on load, which means, such motors are slowed down by the load, and at higher loads, on this type of motors, the current increases extremely, this is due to the motor characteristics of this so-called ‘universal motor’ (in contrast to a spindle where this cannot happen). But since this motor is cooled by a fan sitting on rotor axis which only rotates with the speed of the axis, this fan of course runs slower and slower when the motor is slowed down, and since at the same time the current (and the heat) increases, when you do this for a certain amount of time, the cooling finally is not enough and voilà you have fire. Also these motors receive their power to their rotor coils over carbon-brush commutators which have the function to let such a motor run on alternating current (in fact, a universal motor is a DC motor that is run on AC), but which are a constant source of sparks (and noise, and also EMI) which also means, one source of fire is always there.

This all is not new. And it has been reported and confirmed frequently that when people burnt their Makita hand trim router out, this was always when they used a bit with a diameter greater than 1/2″, which is nothing the hand router is made for, i.e. these large spoil board surfacing bits.

Makita knows about this, it says:

:warning: CAUTION:

  • If the tool is operated continuously at low speeds
    for a long time, the motor will get overloaded,
    resulting in tool malfunction.

12. Do not leave the tool running. Operate the tool
only when hand-held.

  1. Use bits of the correct shank diameter suitable
    for the speed of the tool.


  • Since excessive cutting may cause overload of the
    motor or difficulty in controlling the tool, the depth of
    cut should not be more than 3 mm (1/8") at a pass
    when cutting grooves. When you wish to cut grooves
    more than 3 mm (1/8") deep, make several passes
    with progressively deeper bit settings.


  • Moving the tool forward too fast may cause a poor
    quality of cut, or damage to the bit or motor.
    The proper feed rate will depend on the bit size, the
    kind of workpiece and depth of cut.

:warning: By the way #12 above means that the Makita RT0701C is not allowed for use in a stationary machine like a CNC.

Is this not a fire hazard, or bearing-eater in itself? or is the restriction, minimal enough? Did you run this setup for a long period?

I ran them for several years as such. I only used those with thin, lightweight material. As long as there is no visible build-up on the material, it doesn’t provide any notable restriction. They never ran any hotter than normal. It’s just something that worked well for me. If it makes you uncomfortable, then please do not do it.

1 Like

Several years is enough run time for me, to know there’s no impact. Appreciate the heads up, I make an effort to vacuum, dust, and general clean up every other carve w/ wood, every carve with MDF.

1 Like