Fire crews are reminding residents to properly store shop rags that are used for paint or oil.

Powell River Deputy Chief Rocky Swanson says crews were recently called out to a fire at a workshop at a public facility that investigators believe was caused by paint or oil-soaked rags.

He says many people don’t know that paint, stain or oil-soaked rags can self-ignite and cause fires.

“This is actually quite common and this is just a reminder to everyone that at home, at work, wherever, to store those kinds of things in proper receptacles and they do sell them all over the place.”

Swanson notes that this time of year many people are out staining decks or fences, so it’s important any rags used are stored properly.

He says there are metal receptacles you can buy to store rags.