Safe disposal of ash from your stove
HETAS is advising homeowners to safely dispose of ash from their wood burning and multi fuel stoves following a recent carbon monoxide incident and a house fire.
Hot and cooling ashes can be a fire and carbon monoxide hazard. Make sure that you leave sufficient time after a fire to let the ash cool and keep the door to the stove closed. Ensure that all disposing of ash is done so with the correct equipment, such as safety gloves. Use a galvanised steel or metal ash can or bucket that can be sealed to collect all the unwanted ash. Take your time to remove the ashes to avoid any ash spreading across your room. Slowly transport the container outside of your house and dispose of in a designated area. Do not allow ash to collect in the bucket inside your house for any period of time.
Some stoves operate with a small amount of ash, check your appliance user instructions for best practice for your stove.
Coal ash should always be disposed of safely, wood ash can be used in several ways once cooled. Check with your local council for specific guidance for disposal of ash into general waste.
There are many uses for fully cooled wood stove ash, including:
- In compost – wood ash is good for the ground – visit the RHS website for top tips
- On icy surfaces
- To protect vegetables from slugs and snails
For general tips and advice on operating and maintaining your stove visit the HETAS website.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an extremely poisonous gas that can be present in the fumes from the combustion of fuel’s which aren’t burnt under the correct conditions. Fuels such as gas, oil, solid mineral fuel and biomass all have the potential to emit CO. The gas cannot be seen, smelled or tasted making it difficult to detect. Homeowners with a stove should fit an audible CO alarm conforming to BS EN 50291 and positioned in accordance with Building Regulations Approved Document J. For more information on carbon monoxide safety visit https://www.hetas.co.uk/consumer/carbon-monoxide/.
In addition to regular maintenance tasks, you should also have your chimney swept in accordance with the fuel you are using and the appliance manufacturer’s instructions. As a general rule, the following guidance should be adhered to, your local approved sweep will be able to provide you with specific guidance on a sweeping schedule.
- Smokeless Fuel: Once per year
- Coal: twice per year
- Wood Burning: Quarterly when in use
- Oil Fired: Once per year
To find your local approved chimney sweep visit https://www.hetas.co.uk/find-chimney-sweep/.