How to Remove Ash from Your Fireplace or Stove
Is there a right and a wrong way to remove ashes and coals from your fireplace or wood stove? You bet there is. Just recently, a detached garage in North Carolina burned to the ground because the homeowner improperly disposed of ashes in a plastic garbage can.
Removing ash can be simple and easy, but it’s not second nature to know what to do with the byproducts of your heating appliance. Those of us at Fluesbrothers Chimney Sweep want to help educate you about proper ash removal so that you can protect yourself, your home, and your pets against potential harm.
- Did you know that in the right circumstances a hot coal can continue burning for up to a week?
- Did you know that coal ash can be toxic to animals and plants, whereas wood ash can actually be reused in your garden to nourish your soil?
- Did you know that, according to the National Fire Protection Agency, thousands of residential fires are caused each year by improper ash removal?
If your answer to any of these questions is “no,” please read on.
Ash Removal Guidelines
Because you’re dealing with flammable (and sometimes toxic) materials, ash removal should be taken very seriously. Here are some basic guidelines to follow when scooping ash from your firebox.
- DO NOT use a paper bag, a plastic bag, a plastic trash can, or a cardboard box to dispose of your ashes.
- DO use a metal pail with a lid and an inverted bottom or legs so that the bottom of the pail won’t sit directly on the ground.
- DO moisten the ashes after you’ve scooped them.
- DO put a lid on the ash bucket.
- DO NOT use a vacuum cleaner to clean up ashes.
- DO NOT store cooling ashes in your home, garage, or on your deck.
- DO store your cooling ashes outside, away from your home.
- DO give your fireplace ashes at least four days to cool before dumping them.
Do you live in the Kansas City area and have questions about ash removal? We are more than happy to answer them or to service your chimney and or heating appliance so that it’s working as safely and efficiently as possible. Please contact Fluesbrothers today.