For Immediate Release - September 11, 2017

State Fire Marshal Warns Against Mixing Household Drain Cleaners

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said, “I want to remind people not to mix household drain cleaners when unclogging drains at home. Each brand of drain cleaner uses different chemicals, and when mixed can create dangerous fumes that can lead to breathing difficulties.”

Today, a state Hazardous Materials Response Team responded to a Sudbury home for just such a situation. The first drain cleaner was not successful in unclogging the drain, so the resident tried a different brand of drain cleaner. Residue of the first chemical was still in the drain (since the clog was still there) and the two created noxious fumes.

State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “If a drain cleaning chemical does not work, either call a plumber, or the manufacturer of the product you used for advice.”

The Hazardous Materials Emergency Response division of the Department of Fire Services is an innovative response system designed to provide specialized response of personnel and equipment to the 351 communities of the Commonwealth, to enable them to protect the public, the environment, and property during incidents involving a release or potential release of hazardous materials.