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10 Things You Should Never Burn in Your Fireplace

You've gone through your fall fireplace safety check and are ready to relax in front of a roaring fire. It can be tempting to throw items in the fireplace to get rid of them, but is it safe? Here are 10 things you should never burn in your fireplace.

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woodZivica Kerkez/Shutterstock

Wet Wood

Wet firewood produces more smoke than seasoned wood. This can in turn can cause dangerous creosote to build up on the walls of your chimney. Burn only dry wood. Learn how often you should remove creosote in your chimney.

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Some Plants

It may be tempting to throw dried up plants in the fireplace as they are kind of like firewood, right? Well, some plants, such as poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak can cause an allergic reaction when burned. That’s the last thing you want in the air inside your home. Leave all plant matter outside. These 12 invasive plants may be dangerous.

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WoodAutumn's Memories/Shutterstock

Painted or Treated Wood

Since painted and treated wood can contain dangerous, toxic chemicals that are released when burned, keep them out of your fireplace. Not only can these chemicals irritate lungs, eyes and skin, but they can damage the inside of your fireplace. Try these foolproof ways to start a fire in your fireplace.

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Christmas Trees

It seems logical that you could get rid of your old Christmas tree in the fireplace, but it’s best to dispose of it by other means. Not only is the wood not properly seasoned, evergreen trees can contain high levels of resin which can burn quickly and result in a chimney fire. Here’s how to avoid those pesky Christmas tree bugs.

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bottleTeerasak Ladnongkhun/Shutterstock


It doesn’t matter what type of plastic it is—plastic bags, bubble wrap, plastic bottles or cartons—never throw it in the fireplace. When burned, plastic releases harmful chemicals that can be dangerous for your health. Get your wood-burning fireplace ready for winter with these 13 must-do steps.

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Some Papers and Cardboard

It may be tempting to toss old papers, wrapping paper or that cardboard pizza box in the fireplace, but paper and cardboard with colored print should be kept out of the fire. That’s because the paint may release toxic gasses when burned. Have a non-functioning fireplace? Check out these 12 clever ideas for how to use the space.

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Charcoal Products

While you may use charcoal products in your barbecue grill, keep them out of your fireplace. When you burn charcoal, it releases carbon monoxide into the air and that’s the last thing you want inside your home. When should you replace a carbon monoxide detector? Follow this guide.

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lintPhil McDonald/Shutterstock

Dryer Lint

While dryer lint may work as a great fire starter when you’re on a camping trip, keep it out of your fireplace. Dryer lint can release chemicals into your home and chimney that can be dangerous to your health. Clean lint from your dryer with these quick tips.

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logAnna Malygina/Shutterstock


That large piece of driftwood you found on the coast may seem like a good choice for firewood, but it can potentially release salt and thus corrode your fireplace and chimney. Instead, driftwood is best left as a decoration. When buying firewood for the season, follow these helpful tips.

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fire k_samurkas/Shutterstock

Fire Accelerants

Never use fire accelerant such as gasoline, grill starter fluid or kerosene to start a fire in your fireplace. These accelerants can cause flames to flare up and thus result in a fire that is just too hot for your fireplace and chimney. It’s best to keep these accelerants out of your home. Prevent home fires with these tips.