Having a fireplace inside your home can be a great way to create a wonderful atmosphere. However, sometimes people see their fireplace as a way of disposing of items by throwing them into the fire, which can have long-lasting and detrimental effects on your fireplace. Here is a list of items you should never burn.
Coloured paper & products
The chemicals found in wrapping paper, magazines and newspaper inserts are known to give off toxic fumes when they are burned. This is made worse by the fact that paper can burn quickly, which can cause balls of still-burning paper to float up into the chimney, and ignite creosote deposits.
You should also make sure that you never burn waste products like pizza boxes or any other items that were printed with coloured inks, or Styrofoam items, as they can also release toxic fumes that can be harmful to your and your family’s health. If you are finding it difficult to light your fire, use firelighters to help get it going.
Wood that has been painted, stained or otherwise treated may also release a cocktail of toxic gases and carcinogens. Be sure to dispose of treated wood in a safe manner. Particulate boards, such as MDF, should also not be used in your fireplace.
Be sure to never light your fire using accelerants like kerosene, gasoline, or lighter fluid in your fireplace. Using these substances may cause a dangerous flame flare-up that can be hazardous.
The wrong fuel
Fuel like coal or charcoal should never be used in a wood-burning fireplace either, as it doesn’t have the necessary materials to handle the higher heat that these fuels produce. Coal and charcoal fires often burn hotter than wood-based fires, which can damage the parts and chimney of your fireplace.
Stay away from burning evergreen fuel in your fireplace, as this type of wood’s moisture content is too high to allow the fireplace to perform the way it should. Green wood does not burn as long, as efficiently, or as hot as properly seasoned wood.
You should have your fireplace swept regularly by a chimney sweep to keep your slow-combustion fireplace in top working order. For more information about safely using wood-burning fireplaces, contact the team at Quadrafire today.