Why Shouldn't I Burn Anything Beside Wood In My Woodstove?

Never burn These Things in Your Fireplace Or WoodStove

Wood Burning Fireplace installation in Kenosha, WIThe weather this fall has already been plenty cold enough to enjoy fires in your fireplace or woodstove. Be sure everyone in the household knows what should and shouldn’t be added to the flames. It can seem harmless to toss certain flammable items onto a fire, but it’s actually only safe to burn seasoned firewood. Read on to learn what’s dangerous about common things people tend to throw into fires. A few of the many things you should never burn in your fireplace or woodstove are detailed below.

Christmas Trees

‘Tis the season for Christmas trees, which means in about a month countless trees will be picked up for delivery to the dump. If your tree ends up being incredibly dried out, it may seem perfect as firewood, but it’s not. First of all, the wood is green, which means it has too much moisture. Also, the resins inside Christmas trees cause them to burn rapidly, and they create a lot of popping. The risk of a chimney fire is increased if you burn a Christmas tree.

Green Wood

A cut log isn’t ready to be firewood until the moisture inside has had time to dry out. After about six to 12 months, firewood is ready to burn in your fireplace or wood stove. Until then, the green wood will cause the fire to be inefficient and excessively smoky. The fire’s energy will go toward burning out moisture, and the combustion byproducts that go up the chimney will leave behind excess creosote. You’ll need to schedule chimney cleaning sooner if you burn green wood.


A paper plate or Styrofoam cup may seem fine to add to the flames in your wood stove or fireplace, but they aren’t. Consumer products have been processed and usually contain chemicals. When burned, they create harmful fumes. Plastic is among the most hazardous substances to burn because it releases dioxins. This toxin can cause headaches and increase the risk of suffering internal organ damage or respiratory problems, and it’s also known to cause cancer.

Wood Stove Install in Burlington wiDriftwood

Burning driftwood creates colorful flames that are lavender-blue, but the fumes produced by driftwood are toxic. Metal salts absorbed in the sea cause the beautiful flames, but the toxins produced by the salts are dangerous. It’s common for seaside communities to ban driftwood-burning because of the known toxins.

Wood Pallets

Shipping pallets can seem like a good find for the woodpile but nope. The wood has usually been treated with a hazardous chemical pesticide to keep a beetle called the emerald ash borer away. Pallets are often stamped with “MB,” which is an indication that the wood has been treated with that pesticide, methyl bromide, and is unsafe for burning. If you don’t see the stamp, it’s still best to assume the pallet is made with treated wood and shouldn’t be burned.

Contact Burlington Fireplace for Chimney Cleaning Services

Fireplace and wood stove safety include annual chimney inspections and chimney cleaning services. Burlington Fireplace & Heating in Burlington, WI, has NFI-certified chimney sweeps with the training to provide the best in chimney maintenance. You can also consult our experts if you’re ready to buy an efficient new heating appliance for your home. We sell and professionally install fireplaces, wood stoves, and pellet stoves. Visit our store to see some quality heating appliances in operation. We’re located at 857 Milwaukee Avenue (Hwy 36). You can also give us a call today at 262-763-3522 to learn more.

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