A fire safety officer says people are unaware of the dangers of leaving natural seed oil on fabric cloths, following a house fire in South Auckland.
Phil Faidley says a Papatoetoe home was damaged when a cloth soaked in linseed oil spontaneously combusted on Sunday.
The fire ignited because a chemical reaction with the oil began to decompose the cloth, which in turn heated up the oil.
Mr Faidley says the cloth would have caught fire when the temperature was between 150 and 250-degrees Celsius.
He says people should wash cloths thoroughly to get oils out and air them properly.
Mr Faidley wants to work with retailers to inform DIY consumers, who he says are largely unaware of the danger oiled cloths pose.