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Don’t Burn These Items In Your Fireplace

No matter the chimney and fireplace system you have, whether it’s a wood-burning stove, or a factory built fireplace, it’s important to keep in mind what you’re burning. If you have gas logs, you don’t necessarily need to worry about what you’re putting into your fireplace, because the logs are already in there. However, if you don’t have gas logs, and your fireplace requires wood, you need to make sure that you’re only putting wood in the firebox, and not anything else.

With a fireplace, you might think it’s okay to burn just about anything in it, but there are a few items you should never burn indoors, because they can lead to some pretty dangerous situations.

Wet Wood

Using wood with a high moisture content can produce more, and potentially dangerous smoke than using seasoned wood. This wood can also cause a dangerous amount of creosote build up in the walls of your chimney. We recommend only burning dry wood, and having an annual chimney sweep done by a professional.

Painted or Treated Wood

While you would use seasoned wood in your fire, steer clear of using painted or treated wood. It can release dangerous and toxic chemicals into the air and in your home. The chemicals can not only irritate and affect you, but they can be dangerous to the inside of your fireplace.

Christmas Trees

With the holidays here, you might be wondering how to dispose of your real Christmas tree. The fireplace might seem like a logical option, firewood at your disposal and you’re really getting your money’s worth from that tree. But not only is the wood not seasoned properly, but evergreen trees will often contain high levels of quick burning resin. Burning an evergreen tree can reach high temperatures, possibly resulting in a chimney fire, or even a crack in your chimney.

Plastic, Some Paper or Cardboard

No matter the type of plastic you have, bags, bubble wrap, bottles or cartons should never be tossed into the fireplace. When the plastic burns, it‘ll release harmful chemicals, endangering your health and the health of others around you.

You may think that some paper products are okay to burn, newspaper, wrapping paper, etc, but in reality you should dispose of those products and any cardboard materials another way. The ink and materials used could release toxic gasses when burned.

Charcoal Products & Fire Accelerants

When starting fires outside of the home, it’s best to use products like charcoal and accelerants, however, starting up the fireplace doesn’t take much work. Using charcoal products can release carbon monoxide into the air, and that’s not something you want in your home. Fire accelerants are another story. Those are best used for firing up the barbecue pit, or starting a fire in the woods. The highly flammable accelerant liquid can create a fire that will be too hot for the fireplace or chimney, ultimately putting your home at risk.

Dryer Lint

Dryer lint is extremely flammable, and while that sounds like a good thing, it’s not. The synthetic fibers in dryer lint can release dangerous chemical fumes into your chimney and throughout your home. Keep the dryer lint out of the chimney.

Safely Operate a Fire Inside of Your Home This Winter

Burning any of these items in your chimney can start a chimney fire in your home, or leave a bad smell for days, and possibly weeks in your home. By burning seasoned wood in your fireplace this winter, or using gas logs to enjoy a cozy fir, you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide or chimney fires.

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