12 Things To Never Burn In A Fireplace

This article takes a look at things to never burn in a fireplace.

A fireplace is designed to combust specific fuel types. These range from propane, wood, coal, pellets, and electricity among others. While these fireplaces are optimized for such fuels, not everything combustible is meant to be placed in a fireplace.

Certain combustible items placed in fireplaces end up being a problem. For some, there might be a release of harmful chemicals that may be inhaled. There are still others that may cause flare-ups or fires.

Still, certain fuel types may cause respiratory issues while others could release unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide. The point is, not all combustible items qualify as fireplace fuels.

Therefore, extra caution must be taken to keep these out.

You Might Be Guilty

You’re likely to discover that you’ve been burning or have tossed certain items into your fireplace. While these may be combustible, they’re likely to pose risks you might not be aware of.

The good thing is, once you know, such things should be immediately excluded from the fireplace.

Items You Shouldn’t Burn In A Fireplace

There are lots of items people dispose of in fireplaces that could present significant risks. It doesn’t matter if this action is done consciously or subconsciously. The danger or risk posed remains.

There’s an almost endless number of things to exclude from a fireplace. However, we’ve picked a few to discuss.

A few such items include accelerants, wet firewood, ocean driftwood, colored paper, wood pallets, treated wood, clothing, and Christmas tree. Other prohibited items include plastics, dryer lint, coal or charcoal, trash.

  • Accelerants

When igniting a fire, there’s a temptation to use accelerants to hasten the process. These are basically combustible liquid fuels. The most popular include gasoline, kerosene, and lighter liquids among others.

The reason for avoiding such accelerants is due to the flare-ups they produce. Such flare-ups could be so large as to cause accidents. There’s a good chance of starting a fire when utmost care isn’t taken.

If accelerants must be used, it should be done outdoors and not in an indoor fireplace.

  • Wet Firewood

Wet firewood isn’t an ideal fuel to be used in a fireplace.

One of its common characteristics is the production of excessive smoke. A great percentage of this fuel is lost due to inefficient combustion. Plus, it easily builds up creosote and soot.

  • Ocean Driftwood

Did you know that ocean driftwood, no matter how dry isn’t a suitable addition to a fireplace?

Such types of wood are known to have absorbed a great number of metal salts while it was adrift. Burning such wood might seem normal due to its blue flames. However, the chemicals absorbed are toxic.

You might end up slowly poisoning yourself and members of your household unknowingly. The simple solution is to avoid using it altogether.

  • Colored Paper

A lot of people have no idea that the simple act of burning colored paper places them at risk. How? Within such colors are certain chemicals which, when burned give off or release toxic fumes.

Yes! We’re talking about all types of colored papers including magazines, newspaper flyers, and the likes.

Burnt paper is known to be light. This could burn and float up to your chimney which could easily ignite chimney fires. There’s no gainsaying that chimney fires can be highly disastrous.

You could end up losing your home or even a life with such a little mistake.

  • Wood Pallets

People find all sorts of uses for wood pallets. One of such uses, though dangerous is its use as a fireplace fuel.

While this may sound confusing for some, it’s interesting to note that wood pallets are treated with pesticides such as methyl bromide.

Luckily, such pallets are clearly designated “MB” indicating the type of chemical used for treatment.

Burning such wood in your fireplace is likely to release toxic gases. These are dangerous to your well being and should be avoided at all cost.

  • Treated Wood

Like wood pallets, there’s a long list of wood treated for varying purposes.

Such treatment may include staining, painted, and even manufactured wood. For all of these, certain chemicals are added which may contain carcinogens among other harmful substances.

It’s best to leave out such woods and never place them in your fireplace. However, there are lots of other uses for these as you could easily start a DIY project that could prove useful.

  • Clothing

Why burn clothing in your fireplace when you can have them disposed of somewhere or even recycled?

Whenever you add this to your chimney fire, it’s likely to create a significant amount of smoke much more than what obtains when burning wood or other fuels.

Plus, burning clothes end up increasing the level of creosote and soot deposits in a chimney. This continued practice may end up starting a chimney fire.

  • Christmas Tree

Christmas trees may be great for creating the sights and feel of the season but shouldn’t be considered as combustion fuels for fireplaces. This applies to other types of evergreens.

There’s a high resin concentration in all evergreens. Plus, these don’t burn quietly but could easily pop up embers. Such embers could lead to chimney fires especially when the chimney isn’t frequently cleaned.

  • Plastic

Burning plastics in the fireplace might seem delightful to watch.

However, this process releases noxious fumes that could be harmful to health. It’s best to keep these out of your fireplace and only burn approved combustible fuels.

  • Dryer Lint

A lot of people love burning dryer lint as starts a fire quickly. However, that’s where the benefit ends. Dryer lint releases a good dose of toxic chemicals into your home. You’ll have no choice but to inhale such toxic fumes.

Continued exposure to such chemicals will lead to a variety of health risks.

  • Coal or Charcoal

Did you know that combusting coal or charcoal in your fireplace is likely to produce significant amounts of carbon monoxide? Yes, it does! Plus, these fuels are likely to produce much hotter flames than necessary.

  • Trash

Your trash should be taken out of your home but not be used or disposed of in a fireplace. All sorts of items lie in your trash and some of them are likely to release harmful chemical fumes.

These are just a few of many things you mustn’t burn in your fireplace. Fireplaces are designed to combust certain fuels and only such fuels should be combusted.

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