Best Burn Practices
The distinctive smell of wood smoke is a sign of the heating season. It may smell good, but wood smoke can impact indoor air quality and your health. Smoke is a mixture of tiny particles and gases produced when wood burns – the fine particles can get into your eyes and lungs, where they may aggravate some lung conditions, like lung disease, bronchitis and asthma.
Viewer Tip: Using these “best burn practices” at home will help minimize wood smoke and protect your health:
- Only used seasoned wood for burning – seasoned wood looks darker, has cracks in the ends and sounds hollow if smacked against another piece of wood.
- Use newspaper and dry kindling to start a fire. Never use gasoline, kerosene, charcoal starter or a propane start.
- Build hot fires, which are more safe and efficient than smoldering fires.
- Do not burn garbage or cardboard, coated or painted wood, particle board, plywood or wood with glue on it. Burning these materials can release harmful chemicals.
If you burn wood at home – even occasionally – install a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector to keep you and your family safe. If you already have detectors, check the batteries to make sure they are working properly.
Learn more about best burn practices and wood-burning appliances from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Burn Wise Program: www.epa.gov/burnwise.
Seasons: Fall, Winter
(Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Burn Wise: Consumers – Best Burn Practices. http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/bestburn.html