Q. What Can I Burn in my Fireplace or Wood Stove?
A. Seasoned Wood.
Things you should NOT burn in your fireplace or wood stove:
- Wrapping paper. With Christmas right around the corner, it’s a good reminder that burning wrapping paper can be dangerous. It flares up quickly and flames can easily burn so large they escape out the front of the fireplace. The paper can also be so light that it can escape through the top of the chimney, while still lit and pose a potential fire hazard.
- Pizza boxes or other cardboard boxes. Like any paper, pizza boxes will flare up and burn too high, causing a potential hazard. Also, some cardboard has a wax or plastic coating that could produce toxic smoke.
- Junk mail. Any paper has the potential to burn so quickly that flames escape the firebox, which is potentially hazardous. Plus, those little plastic windows on envelopes and glossy magazine pages produce chemicals when they burn, coating the inside of your chimney.
- Styrofoam. Burning Styrofoam produces thick, toxic, black smoke that you don’t want in your house or lungs. The ash left behind is goopy and difficult to clean.
While starting a fire, you can use a small amount of plain newsprint to light your kindling, but other than that, only seasoned wood should be burned in a fireplace or stove.