One of the favorite family activities during the holiday season is gathering around the fireplace to enjoy the warm and cozy fire. Even those who do not use their fireplaces regularly in the winter will burn fires over the holidays. Now that this season has come to a close, it is time to remove the ashes from fireboxes, and knowing how to safely and properly dispose of fireplace ash is very important. At Ashbusters, we greatly value the safety of our customers, and we would like to share with you some tips for you to follow when you are cleaning out the ashes in your firebox.
Allow at least 48 hours for the ashes to cool.
You do not want to try to remove fireplace ashes right after you have extinguished a fire. Smoldering ashes can be dangerous when you are doing this task. Not only could you get burned, but they could ignite an accidental fire if they are tossed into the trash. Ashbusters recommends you wait at least a couple of days after a fire to begin disposing of ashes.
Use the right tools for the job.
You will want to have a metal fireplace shovel, gloves, and a breathing mask. The most important tool for disposing fireplace ash is a metal bucket with a lid that securely closes. Once you have scooped up the ashes into the bucket, close the lid tightly and place it outside on a non-combustible surface like concrete or brick. This prevents an accidental fire from any hot ashes spilling out and igniting flames if the bucket is knocked over. Leave the bucket alone for a couple more days and then you can dispose the ashes into your outdoor trash can.
Leave a layer of ash to insulate your firebox.
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), keeping a one-inch layer of ashes in the firebox during the winter will help you be able to build and maintain fires more easily. If you use your fireplace or stove every day, you can go up to two weeks before disposing of ash. You want to be sure that the ashes never get deep enough to come into contact with the grate. That can cause the grate to wear out prematurely.
Disposing of fireplace ash should always be done with care to avoid accidents. Contact us at Ashbusters for all of your professional chimney and fireplace maintenance, repair, and installation needs.