Five Things Not to Burn in Your Fireplace

December 11, 2021 12:35 am Published by Leave your thoughts

It can be soothing and satisfying to watch the flames licking properly-seasoned wood in a fireplace. Especially on a cold night when you’re curled up next to the fire, there’s nothing quite like the mesmerizing scene of fire’s slow consumption of a log. Wood meant for fireplaces is fine to burn, but there are some things to avoid burning in the fireplace.

While it may be tempting to use the fireplace as an incinerator for unwanted paper goods or other flammable materials, there can be serious consequences if the wrong things are burned.

Here are some things you should not be burning in your fireplace.

Christmas trees

It might seem obvious to dispose of your Christmas tree after the holidays by feeding it to the fire in your fireplace, but that would not be the best way to dispose of it. For starters, the wood is not properly seasoned and will create a large amount of smoke. On top of that, Christmas trees have high amounts of resin, which can burn very hot and result in a chimney fire or cracked chimney.

Toxic plants

Dried plants should not go in the fireplace. This is because some toxic plants, like poison oak, sumac or poison ivy, when burned, can cause an allergic reaction if inhaled. Even if you’re fairly certain the plants you want to burn are not toxic, it’s best to avoid burning dried plants altogether in case some toxic plants slipped into the pile unnoticed.

Treated or painted wood

Another thing to keep out of the fireplace is wood that has been treated or painted. Burning this wood indoors can release toxic chemicals into the air. This can be an irritant to your skin, eyes and lungs. In case that wasn’t reason enough to keep treated or painted wood out of the fireplace, those toxic fumes can also damage the inside of your fireplace.


Charcoal is another thing that seems like it would be fine to burn in a fireplace. After all, we use it for our barbecues, and it burns well there. But while charcoal may be good for burning outside, it releases carbon monoxide into the air. This gas is toxic to breathe; therefore, charcoal should not be burned in your fireplace or anywhere in your home.

Wet wood

All wood you burn in the fireplace should be properly seasoned—that means it has had ample time to dry out. Burning wet or unseasoned wood in your fireplace causes more smoke to build up, which can lead to creosote buildup on the inside of your chimney. This is dangerous because creosote buildup can lead to a fire if not properly cleaned on a regular basis.

A fireplace can be a wonderful addition to the look and feel of a home. Knowing what you should not be burning in your fireplace is a good step toward keeping it safe, too.

For the best selection of fireplaces and great customer service in Wausau, WI, contact Marcell’s Specialties Inc. today.

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