Fireplaces are a wonderful way to heat your home and add a bit of ambiance to your evening. Before electricity was invented, fireplaces were the primary source of heating in a home. They are made to burn firewood specifically made for indoor use. However, the fire is not a catch-all. You may think that there is no harm in throwing old documents or packaging in the fire to eliminate them. But some items should never be burned in a fireplace because they could damage your fireplace or harm you and your family. Here are some everyday items that you should never burn in a fireplace.
Any item made of plastic, whether it be plastic bags, bottles, or packaging, should never be burned in your fireplace. Plastic contains harmful chemicals. When burned, those chemicals are released into the air, making it toxic and dangerous to breathe. It is harmful to your health and can cause headaches, respiratory problems, and possibly cancer. It is bad for the environment as well.
While it is easily flammable and seems like good kindling, cardboard can cause more harm than good if burned in a fireplace. Cardboard is treated with chemicals and often contains inks to release them into the air when burned. Just like plastics, those chemicals are highly toxic to breathe. Also, cardboard is a very lightweight material and prone to floating. If a burning piece of cardboard flows out of your fireplace, it could quickly start a fire on anything flammable. Or, they can float up into your chimney and cause a chimney fire.
Magazines and Newspapers
Just like cardboard, magazines and newspapers (and any other colored paper) are treated with ink and chemicals. When ignited, those chemicals escape into the air and are very dangerous to breathe. Paper burns very quickly, so there is also a danger that flames may enter the chimney and ignite any creosote buildup in the chimney. Bits of paper can float up the chimney on the hot air rising through the chimney and ignite flammable materials outside the home.
Never use accelerants like gasoline, kerosene, or barbecue lighter fluid to start a fire in your fireplace. These highly flammable substances can produce unexpectedly large flames that could escape from the fireplace or even up the chimney.
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Champion Chimneys, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded and insured chimney service company that has served customers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland since 2001. Our team is trained and certified by Certified Chimney Professionals, Inc. (CCP, Inc.). Courteous service is our trademark, and our crews arrive on time in uniform, driving fully equipped trucks. We specialize in all aspects of your chimney system. Whether you need chimney and flue cleaning service or a full chimney rebuild or inspection, contact us at 443-Chimney today and let us fix all your chimney problems. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.