Your fireplace is a great source of heat and comfort and a great design feature in the home. Making sure that you take care of it, that you are keeping it in good shape, and that you are only burning things you should be burning is a must. You might think you can burn anything in a fireplace, but there are some things that you should avoid for your own health and the overall health of your fireplace.
What Should You Not Put in a Fireplace?
The first thing that you should avoid putting in your fireplace is wet wood. Wet wood, though not terrible on its own, does have the potential to create an excess of smoke in the home while burning; this can cause breathing issues and can quickly fill your home with smoke causing smoke damage. Another thing to avoid is Christmas trees. Yes, they are wood, but they are not seasoned; they have sap in the wood, they have high levels of resin that can flare up, and they can create excess smoke as well.
Painted and treated lumber should also be avoided. The treatment and paint on the lumber have the potential to cause chemicals to be released into the air that you and your family are breathing. The same goes for paper that has color print on it. The color ink can release chemicals into the air that can be dangerous for those breathing them.
You also want to avoid things like accelerants; this can mean starter fluid, lighter fluid, gasoline, and any other accelerant you might be tempted to use to make the fire bigger. This can splash back and can cause a fire in the home. Plastics can also be toxic and cause major issues for those who breathe in the fumes. They can also cause a nasty mess on the bottom of your fireplace.
What Should You Not Use for Firewood?
As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid anything that was not either cut or manufactured to be used as firewood. This means if you have something created for another purpose that was not being used for firewood, you likely should not use it as such. It is always best to stick with wood that has been cut for use in the fireplace, wood that has been properly seasoned, and wood that is free of paint, treatment, and chemicals.
With a fireplace, you want to remember that any smoke that comes back into the home will potentially be breathed in by you and your family. This means you want to ensure no chemicals in it that can cause major damage to you or your family. Sticking to firewood intended as such and safe starters is a must.
Categorised in: Fireplace Safety
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