Many Canadian homes have fireplaces for ambience and extra warmth. Some homes burn wood as the main source of heat. It is important to follow a number of key steps when burning any wood indoors.
- Inspect your chimneys and flues annually for corrosion, blockages, and cracks that could let dangerous gases (e.g. carbon monoxide) enter your home.
- When using your fireplace, open a window a little bit to ensure a good supply of fresh air into your home.
- Do not burn plastics, newspapers, magazines, painted wood, or cardboard as they can all release dangerous chemicals into your home's air.
- Make sure wood is stored outdoors, dried, kept off the ground, and loosely covered.
- When installing a fireplace, be sure that it is installed by a certified contractor who will ensure proper installation and safety. Check to see if they are a Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) certified member.
- Poorly maintained and inefficient fireplaces can lead to difficulty breathing, coughing, irritation of the lungs, and asthma attacks in sensitive individuals.
- Ensure your wood burning appliances are being used properly and not causing breathing problems or making air unpleasant for your neighbours.