A Beautiful Outdoor Fireplace Situated In The Middle Of A Patio Furniture On A Red Wooden Deck

Things You Should Never Burn in Your Outdoor Fireplace

There are few things better than gathering around an outdoor fire pit or fireplace with loved ones and friends during a starry night. The crackling sound and warmth from a fire can help you unwind after a long day and make for everlasting memories. But while an outdoor fire can be a special place to gather, it can also be potentially dangerous depending on what you’re planning to burn. Allow the team at Rock Products, Inc. in New Jersey to be your safety guide, as we list the materials you should never burn in your outdoor fireplace.

Avoid Burning These Items 

You may already know that the safest thing to burn in an outdoor fire pit is firewood, specifically cut for the sole purpose of burning. However, many aren’t aware that certain materials should never be burned, as they can be potentially dangerous for you, your family, your neighbors, and the atmosphere. The materials that homeowners should never burn include:

Treated & Painted Wood

Typically, lumber designed for outdoor construction is pressure treated or chemically preserved. The reason for this is to prevent the wood from rotting in wet conditions. Burning this type of wood can release dangerous chemicals and fumes that may be harmful if inhaled. Oftentimes, pressure-treated wood will have been stamped as such and may have a greenish tint to it. Much like treated wood, painted wood contains chemicals that could release dangerous toxins into the atmosphere when burned.

Manufactured Wood

The process of producing manufactured wood consists of binding small pieces, strands, and particles of wood together with adhesives or fixatives to form a composite. This category of wood includes plywood, particle board, fiberboard, and others. What causes this type of wood to become potentially dangerous when burned is the release of toxins from the binding adhesive.


One of the most dangerous types of material to burn is plastics. Not only is burning plastics dangerous to your health, but the health of the environment, as well. The burning of plastics releases toxic gasses such as dioxins, furans, and polychlorinated biphenyls. If inhaled, these toxic gasses can cause headaches, fatigue, and respiratory system medical conditions.

Some Paper Products and Cardboard

While cardboard burns great, it also contains adhesives that could be toxic. Not all paper is safe to burn, either. Heavily inked magazines release toxic fumes when burned. More so, magazines, gift wrap, and some mail envelopes have a special coating on them preventing them from burning cleanly.

In addition to the risk of releasing dangerous toxins, another reason why you should not burn paper or cardboard is the hazard of creating huge smoldering flakes. These flakes can travel quickly towards nearby brush, trees, and houses. If they reach, a rapid-fire could break out.

Fire Accelerants

It can be tempting to use fire accelerants such as gasoline, kerosene, or lighter fluid to start your fire. However, homeowners should refrain from using these products on their outdoor fire pits. If used, these accelerants can cause rapid flare-ups that can heat your outdoor fireplace to unsafe temperatures. These unsafe temperatures can result in your fire pit becoming damaged. Also, the use of fire accelerants can get out of hand quickly and potentially cause damage to anything close by including people and property.

Leaves and Other Lawn Clippings

At first, burning your lawn clippings and raked-up leaves may seem like a safe idea but it can quickly turn dangerous. Dried leaves burn very quickly and are extremely hot. This drastic increase in temperature can cause harm to your outdoor fire pit. Wet leaves have the opposite effect but can still be dangerous to burn. The process of burning wet leaves is slow which creates a dangerous amount of smoke. If inhaled, this smoke can be potentially harmful, causing excessive coughing and shortness of breath.

Become Dedicated to Outdoor Fireplace Safety

At Rock Products, Inc., our mission has always been to supply our customers in New Jersey with high-quality products and services. We take that a step further by providing our expertise, including outdoor fireplace safety tips for anyone who’s looking to enjoy a night around the flames. To learn more about our outdoor fireplaces and other backyard features, contact the professionals at Rock Products, Inc.

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