Each year, nearly 395,000 homes catch fire in the United States because of improper removal of fireplace or wood burning stove ashes or embers. These fires result in numerous injuries and deaths, and almost $4.5 billion in property damage.
Follow your owner's manual instructions.
- Burn the proper fuel. Only firewood or fuel approved by your heating appliance manufacturer should be burned in fireplaces or wood burning stoves.
- Schedule for regular maintenance. Creosote may build up on the chimney, limiting the appliance's performance, and creating a fire hazard. Regular maintenance and cleaning will help avoid build up.
- Dispose of ashes and embers properly. Leave ashes and embers in the appliance for several hours to let them cool. When the ashes and embers have cooled, remove them with a metal scoop. Place the ashes and embers in a metal container with a lid, not a cardboard box, plastic bag or in a trash can with other trash. This container should be stored outside away from the building, not in family rooms or garages, just in case hot ash or embers might still be present.
(Source: Ash Disposal brochure, State Farm Insurance Companies)