Local expert warns against using flamethrowers for snow removal
So we spoke with an expert to see if using a flamethrower could be an effective way of removing your snow.
(ERIE, P.A. - WICU/WSEE/CW) – It’s safe to say, this isn’t your typical backyard view.
North East native Mathieu Sanders was launching out a stream of gas and flames at temperatures over 750 degrees, as he took aim at mounds of ice and snow.
“And it’s really quick.” Sanders said
And that quickness comes from his Ion Productions XM-42 flamethrower.
Recently, a video of a Virginia man taking care of his snow with a flamethrower garnered a lot of attention, something Sanders says is not effective.
Sanders has his because he uses it as part of his defense and training company, Got Trigger.
When we caught up with him, he was demonstrating how to use it, right in the comfort of his backyard.
"First time it snowed, I came out and tried it myself, actually." said Sanders
But it was to no luck. Even as we stood with him, the flames just weren’t getting the job done. Even as the intense heat carried through the air, it lost its effectiveness in the freezing cold temperatures.
Couple it with a gasoline/diesel mix which is lighter than water and the most we were really left with was some burnt snow and some still-flaming patches of ice.
There was some mild snowmelt in some spots, but they turned to ice relatively soon thereafter.
"It’s just not enough to be able to melt that amount of something cold.” Sanders said
Now, Sanders is a professional, with years of experience with firearms and flamethrowers. And even then, he doesn't recommend trying to take a flamethrower to your snow and ice. He says there could be mild success, but in the wrong hands, it could be a disaster.
“It is real fire, it's not play fire or anything like that.” Sanders said “And you really can hurt yourself, those around you, or set something on fire that you really didn't mean to."
We called a couple of fire chiefs around the area and they too, do not recommend you use one.
You can learn more about Got Trigger and their services here.
For some helpful and safe tips on clearing the snow, check this link here.