Did you know that, according to the Quebec ministry of public safety (ministère de la Sécurité publique), an average of 140 building fires are caused by the improper storage of hot ashes? In most cases, these accidents could have been prevented by taking certain precautions.
It is recommended that you empty the ashes from your heater on a regular basis. Here’s how to do so safely:
- Always place your hot ashes in a metal container with a double-bottom, using the appropriate shovel. The container must have a metal lid to prevent the ashes from being blown away by the wind.
- The container must always be stored outdoors, as hot ashes give off carbon monoxide.
- Never store the container on a combustible surface even if covered by snow. Every year, many fires are caused in this manner, as the ashes stay hot even when the container is stored on snow.
- To avoid any risk of fire, place the container at least one metre from all buildings, hedges, fencing, carport, etc.
- Ashes can stay hot for a week. This means that you should always leave the ashes in a metal container for at least seven days and make sure they are completely cool before disposing of them safely.
Please check with your municipality to learn more about the ash disposal regulations in place.
We hope that these tips will be useful and will allow you to enjoy your fireplace with peace of mind.
To learn more about wood-fire heating, check out our article on everything you need to know about wood heating.