Fireplaces are used more during the holiday season, as many family gatherings and traditions are done around a fire. Because of this, it is important to be as safe as possible around your fireplace this time of the year.

What we burn in our fireplaces impact the performance of the fireplace directly. It can cause damage to the chimney system, while also impact the health and safety of your family and friends. While it may be tempting to throw discarded wrapping paper, boxes, or dried up wreaths into your fireplace, we do not recommend this at all. At Coopertown Services, we want to let you know the importance of only burning seasoned firewood in your fireplace.

What not to burn

seasoned firewoodThrowing wrapping paper or decorations into the fireplace may seem like a quick and easy way to dispose of extra holiday trash, but it is not a good idea for your chimney system. There are a number of materials that should not be burned in residential fireplaces, and the following are four common materials.

  1. Wrapping paper or cardboard
  2. Styrofoam
  3. Pre-treated wood
  4. Garbage

The dangers of burning these materials in your fireplace

Wrapping paper, tissue, cardboard, and other paper should not be burned in your fireplace, as they are highly flammable. When they are added to a fire, they can quickly burn out of control, causing flames to spill out of the firebox or up the chimney. In addition, burning wrapping paper can also release toxic chemicals into the air. While wrapping paper produced into the United States must use approved chemicals and dyes, paper manufactured in other countries is not held to the same standards. When burned, these dyes can release toxic chemicals to affect the air quality in your home.

Whether you are using an indoor fireplace or an outdoor fire pit, Styrofoam should never be burned. Like paper products, it ignites quickly and can release harmful gas into the air. In addition, burning Styrofoam often creates a thick, black, toxic smoke that effects the nervous system and lungs. Styrofoam also melts and adheres to whatever it touches as it burns. This melted plastic byproduct is extremely difficult to remove from your firebox or chimney.

Real trees, wreaths, garland, as well as other types of pre-treated wood such as old fence, should never be burned in your fireplace. Most pre-treated wood and holiday holiday greenery are covered with chemicals that should not be burned. The EPA recommends homeowners to “never burn coated, painted, or pressure-treated wood because it releases toxic chemicals when burned.”

Burning garbage in a controlled manner is a regular occurrence for many rural communities. However, for those of us living in residential areas, backyard garbage burning should be avoided. This affect the air quality in the community and also cause headaches, nausea, and respiratory issues.

Burn seasoned firewood this holiday season

As tempting as it is to burn things in your fireplace over the holidays, the best way to keep your family safe and healthy is to burn only seasoned firewood. For more information on the best wood for your fireplace or chimney safety tips over the holidays, contact Coopertown Services today!