Sus­tain­abil­ity Tips

Catron Courier - - Front Page -

How you han­dle the ashes from your wood-burn­ing stove or fire­place can make a big dif­fer­ence. Ash can ac­tu­ally cause ex­pen­sive dam­age to your stove, and im­prop­erly dis­posed of ashes can burn down your house!

Ash can also be a good thing. Dur­ing the burn­ing sea­son, hav­ing a one-inch layer of ash on the fire­box floor can make it eas­ier to build a fire and can pro­tect the floor of the fire­box. Hot coals sink into the ash and glow; this adds more heat to fuel and re­flects the heat back to the fire.

Too deep ash can cause the fire­place’s grate to burn out sooner than nor­mal. Also, if you have a wood stove or fire­place with lots of ash, it will re­duce the amount of wood able to be added to the fire­box.

At the end of the heat­ing sea­son, re­move the ashes from your fire­place and stove. Ash can pull mois­ture and cause metal parts to

rust. Also, when acidic ash is blended with mois­ture it can be very de­struc­tive to both ma­sonry and metal hearth com­po­nents.

Each year, our lo­cal fire de­part­ments re­spond to fires that are caused by im­proper dis­posal of hot coals or ashes from fire­places, wood stoves, pel­let stoves, grills or mo­bile fire­places de­signed for use on decks or pa­tios. The fact is that coals and ashes from fires can re­main hot enough to start a fire for days. To be safe, treat all ashes and coals as hot. Al­low ashes and coals to cool in a metal con­tainer and wet them down. Don’t add any­thing else to the metal ash bucket, and keep the ash con­tainer out­side and away from any deck, walls, fire­wood, news­pa­pers, kin­dling, fuel, or any­thing that can burn.

Have your chim­ney in­spected an­nu­ally, and cleaned as nec­es­sary, by some­one with ex­pe­ri­ence, to en­sure it is clear of ob­struc­tions and cre­osote. Hor­i­zon­tal stove pipes are par­tic­u­larly prone to clog­ging which can cause a fire. Re­pair any cracks in your chim­ney and fire­place. It may not seem like it, but those cracks are dan­ger­ous.

Use fire­place screens to keep sparks and fire de­bris in­side the fire­place. Do not use an ac­cel­er­ant to start a fire, such as kerosene or gaso­line.

En­sure the fire is com­pletely out be­fore go­ing to bed or leav­ing the house. If you need to, douse it with wa­ter. Make sure a three-foot safe zone around the fire­place or stove is clear of all com­bustibles, in­clud­ing matches, wood pel­lets, news­pa­pers, rugs, and fire­wood. Keep all chil­dren and pets a safe dis­tance from fire­places, and in­stall both smoke and car­bon monox­ide alarms.

Keep a fire ex­tin­guisher on hand—re­mem­ber, you’re the first fire­fighter on scene so make sure you have the tools you need to knock down that fire fast.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.