This time of year is notorious for its changing weather --
warm one day, cold and damp the next. If you're using wood heat to take
the chills off your home, you need to be aware of the special safety hazard
that burning wood can cause to your lungs.
Burning wood improperly can be risky, especially if you
don't know what not to do when using wood fuel. Improper burning of wood
can endanger your health and property.
Even though wood is a natural fuel, if it is burned
incorrectly, it can produce dangerous emissions, including carbon monoxide,
organic gases, and smoke. To avoid this, be sure to burn only seasoned
hardwoods, such as oak, maple, and hickory. Limit burning soft woods like
pine or fir and never burn newly cut or wet wood.
Never burn painted or treated wood, or wood products
containing glue. Never burn magazines, gift wrap, or colored paper.
They all produce particles that can clog a fireplace or wood stove's air
passages and can also produce noxious, corrosive or even carcinogenic gases.
And be sure you inspect your wood stove or fireplace
regularly. Keep them well maintained, and have the chimney cleaned of
creosote buildup every year to help prevent chimney fires.
Heating with wood can warm up a chilly day, but for safety's
sake, make sure you burn wood with care. Here are a few additional Fire Safety Tips concerning Heating
anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment,
like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a
three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a
qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water
heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and
heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a
to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel
burning space heaters.
sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the
room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep
the container a safe distance away from your home.
smoke alarms at least once a month.