Burning wood for cooking and warmth is as old as humans are. Our ancestors burned wood as their primary home heating method. However, as we’ve moved away from wood as a fuel source, fewer and fewer people know how to burn wood safely.
Even people who sell firewood may not understand that some types of wood just shouldn’t be burnt. They might even sell you toxic firewood, without even realizing it. Here are some wood burning safety tips you need to know, and information on where to buy firewood that is safe to burn.
Wood You Shouldn’t Burn
There are many types of wood that shouldn’t be burnt, usually because they will give off toxic smoke or fumes. Here are the types of wood you should avoid.
Treated or Glued Wood
Any wood that was supposed to be used in construction, from stained or painted deck wood to plywood, has been treated with chemicals or has glue inside of it. Burning these woods releases the chemicals into the air, where you’ll breathe them in. This can be harmful to your health, so always avoid burning construction wood.
Can the person selling you the firewood tell you what species the wood is? If not, it’s best to avoid it. Several types of wood are toxic and will release those toxins into the air when burnt.
Plus, some types of wood burn much faster or slower than others. You wouldn’t want to pay the price for slow-burning wood when you’re getting fast-burning wood that won’t last as long.
Garbage or Ocean Wood
Any wood that was tossed away as trash or collected from the ocean is not safe to burn. Ocean wood is soaked in salt and potentially other chemicals, which will be released when burnt. As you don’t know where trash wood came from, you can’t know if it is safe to burn.
Wet or Rotten Wood
Wood needs to be dried before it can burn. Some firewood sellers do not know how to dry wood properly and may sell you wood that has rotted or grown mould.
How to Limit the Impact of Firewood Smoke
Even if you are burning the correct type of wood, exposure to firewood smoke can have an impact on your health. It can cause irritation and make certain breathing problems worse. To limit its impact, it is important to keep your indoor fireplace well ventilated and clean. This includes cleaning your chimney. Also, you may want to consider choosing a newer, safer fireplace that is designed to limit your exposure to the smoke. Don’t forget creating a wood burning fireplace outdoors is a great way to safely enjoy a fire in the spring, summer and autumn. Bring out the s’mores!
Get Safe Firewood From Van Beek’s Landscape Supply
At Van Beek’s we have safe, identified, non-treated firewood. For all of your firewood needs contact Van Beek’s Landscape Supply. With spring just around the corner come visit us an find out how we can turn your yard into an outdoor living space, and make sure you stock up on firewood for the rest of the winter and for your outdoor fires in the spring and summer.