Wood Ash Safety Tips

C1, C3, Engine 5, Hose, Manchester Fire Department, ManchesterVT, MFD-131125-1

On November 25, Engine 5 and Brush 1 responded to a report of a burn that had grown and become uncontrolled. On arrival, the chiefs discovered that the fire was contained to a compost/leaf pile and was actually caused by improperly disposed of ashes.

Please be extra cautious when cleaning out your stove or fireplace and follow these tips.

  • All ashes should then be stored in a fire-resistant metal container with a tight fitting cover. This helps keep air from blowing through and disturbing ashes which can leave hot coals exposed for reigniting. Ashes should NEVER be disposed of in plastic, cardboard, or paper containers. Never use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes.
  • The metal container should be placed outdoors, away from anything that can burn. It should NOT be placed next to a firewood pile, up against or in a garage, on or under a wood deck, or porch.
  • Make sure there are no hot spots left in the ashes before disposal. This is done by soaking them in water or letting them sit for several days and double checking for hot spots.