Monday, December 5, 2011

How to Properly Dispose of Ashes from Wood Stoves & Fireplaces

While browsing the internet, I came across a news article dated 11-23 which was titled, "Forest Service urges proper disposal of woodstove and fireplace ashes"

Apparently there have been some forest fires due to some people disposing of wood stove ashes improperly. And there have been home fires that have started because of improperly stored fire ash.

Hot coals can hide amongst the ashes and stay hot for up to 4 days (sometimes longer). These coals were once used to reignite fires when people did not have an easy way to light a fire. But now these coals are a danger to our forests, fields, homes, and more if they are tossed out while still hot.

So what should you do with those ashes from your fireplace or wood stove?
Ash Containers are a great way to store hot coals and ashes from a fireplace or wood stove.  It is recommended to add a little water after putting ash in to be sure that any hot coals are extinguished. The ash should be stored away from anything flammable in case any cinders happen to escape. Be sure the lid on your ash container is tightly on.
Once you are sure that your ash is no longer hot, and that there aren't any coals still burning, there are a few things that you can do with your ashes.
  • Use your ash around plants that thrive in alkaline soil. 
  • Mix with water to make a paste to clean wood blemishes and water rings on wood.
  • They can be sprinkled around the perimeter of your garden to repel slugs and snails.
  • You can add them to your compost pile.
If you are safe with your wood stove and/or fireplace ash, then you can help prevent accidents from happening.

Stay safe and warm this winter!

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