There are steps you can take to proactively mitigate the potential hazards and ensure a safer environment for both your home and loved ones…
Don’t Burn Wet Wood
When wood with a moisture content higher than 20% is burned, up to five times more emissions are released. This is especially important for those in living in a Smoke Control Area, as fines can be incurred. You should look out for the Ready to Burn certification mark to ensure your fuel is dry and ready to use.
Avoid Putting Cardboard on the Fire
Despite the seemingly tempting nature of burning easily combustible materials like cardboard and paper, it is crucial to refrain from doing so. The act of tossing paper and cardboard into the fire can have undesirable consequences. These materials can generate copious amounts of smoke, leading to potentially detrimental effects such as chimney blockages and significant damage that can incur substantial costs.
Give Painted or Treated Wood a Miss
Wood that has been painted or treated should be avoided at all costs. This includes those offcuts and unwanted pallets you’ve been trying to find a use for. Keep those for a DIY project, but never throw them on the fire. When heated up and set alight, the chemicals in the paint, treatment or wood preserver can be released, resulting in toxic fumes being emitted into the environment and the home. This can be dangerous for all, but especially those with compromised respiratory systems.
Steer Clear from Coal
In May 2023, the sale of traditional house coal was banned in England. As coal is one of the most polluting fuels that can be burned in the home. It is vital therefore to steer clear of this harmful fossil fuel. Again, don’t forget to look for the Ready to Burn certification mark to help find a suitable and more sustainable alternative. Approved smokeless fuels will also feature the certification mark.
Never Throw Rubbish on the Flames
Only suitable and legal fuel should be used in your appliance. You should not use it as a makeshift incinerator for any household rubbish or debris that needs to be disposed of. Burning items that have not been certified and could contain a mix of chemicals and materials can be very dangerous for all involved, or even those living close by.