Keep hot ashes cool

January 10, 2023

It’s the time of year when we enjoy gathering around the fire — indoors around the fireplace or, in slightly warmer climes, outdoors around the fire pit or barbeque. Wherever you are enjoying a wood fire, be sure to safely dispose of all ashes. Hot coals and ashes should never be placed directly into your trash cart.

Improperly discarded material can pose a fire risk and jeopardize the safety and health of your home and family, as well as the truck driver, waste and recycling facility workers, and the public at large. Coals and ashes can remain hot enough to start a fire for many hours, perhaps days, after you think the fire is out. As a safety precaution, treat all coals and ashes as hot.

For visual learners, check out this video on safe ash disposal from the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

Follow the guidelines below for safe disposal.

Safe ash disposal tips

  • Allow coals to burn out completely and let ashes cool. Ashes should be cool enough to handle without gloves before you prepare to dispose of them.
  • If you must move them prior to being completely cool, move the ashes to a metal can with a lid, douse with water, and secure the lid.
  • Please bag cooled ashes and place them in your trash cart.
  • As a precaution, keep the trash cart with cooled ashes outside and away from the side of the house or any trees.
  • Be sure there are no other combustible materials nearby.
  • Never place ashes and coals in your yard waste or recycling carts.

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