What Fireplace Burning Materials Are Safe?

Whether you light fires in your fireplace regularly or occasionally, you should know what fireplace burning materials are safe. 


Not all types of wood are safe to burn in your fireplace. Most treated woods will produce hazardous smoke. Burning oleander unleashes poisons into the air.  Pine wood is full of resin, making it spark dangerously.  Burning pine with other types of wood is safer than burning it alone.

The best wood to burn is seasoned wood.  Seasoned wood has been sitting cut and dry for longer than six months.  “Green” wood, which is younger than six months, will not burn well because it still holds water.  Wood that has been aged too long will burn fast and produce more ash than heat. Kindling should also be seasoned and dry. 

Fire Logs

For a long time, fire logs were deemed harmful to the environment and your home because of their wax coatings. Nowadays, many manufacturers produce wax-free logs. These logs are often safer than regular wood because they don't spark while burning at a nice, slow pace.

There are several brands of fire logs to choose from and are available at most hardware stores.  Make sure when purchasing fire logs that they are made of 100% compressed saw dust. 

Other Safe Alternatives

There are other great fireplace burning options for your home and the environment. 

Java logs are made of used, compacted coffee grounds.  They don't smell like coffee, but they are quite warm burning and a great new way to say you are recycling! 

Newspaper logs are another alternative.  These logs are simply made from highly compacted rolled newspaper.  Reusing newspaper is a great fire-starter and healthy for the environment.