Many Australians enjoy a wood burning fireplace, for the warmth, heat and ambiance that comes from having one as the centerpiece of their living or dining room. But with deadly home fires an ever-present concern, many opt out of having one due to safety concerns. What these families don’t know is that it’s possible to enjoy a fire at home that is as safe and practical as it is enjoyable.
The threat of a home fire is one that most Australians are familiar with, with recent years being dominated by the threat of potential bushfires due to higher than usual temperatures, dry conditions, strong winds and low levels of rainfall. Because of this, most people are aware of the safety precautions that need to be followed in order to minimize the risk of a fire spreading from a heater elsewhere. But few Australians stop to think about the breathing hazards presented by burning wood in your home.
According to the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority, the vast majority of fine particle pollution in Sydney can be traced back to heaters in the region and with close to 100,000 heaters in this area alone, that’s a lot of emissions! Particles are particularly dangerous as they can be inhaled directly into a person’s bloodstream and lead to breathing and lung complications.
Most experts say this stems from the fact that many heaters in the country stick to the bare minimum when it comes to the allowed amounts of emissions required per kilogram of wood burnt, which is a maximum of 2.5 grams. In fact, many experts allege that a heater produces more toxic emissions than cigarette smoke and can produce the same amount of emissions of hundreds of SUVS over a period of time.
Thankfully, not all wooden heaters are created equal and you can actually purchase one that is much healthier than most of the heaters on the market that are optimized to burn less wood and therefore create less emissions, resulting in safe breathing air.
So when the season comes to bring out the heaters, make sure you’ve chosen one that lets you breathe easy, safe in the knowledge that you’re not polluting your family’s or the rest of the country’s air.