Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Colder Weather Prompts Stove/Fireplace Warning


The Christie Administration is offering some safety tips for New Jersey residents who, due to the colder temperatures, are increasing their use of woodstoves and fireplaces.

Flickr User John.Karakatsanis

“Homeowners who have fireplaces or woodstoves should find an abundance of wood available this year as many trees were downed or removed after Superstorm Sandy,” said Jane Kozinski, Assistant Commissioner of Environmental Management with the state Department of Environmental Protection. “But it’s important to remember that wood smoke does contain pollutants and there are steps you can take to minimize your impact on the environment, on your neighbor’s air quality and your own safety.”

According to the DEP, wood smoke contains particles that can contribute to air pollution. Residents are urged to check local air quality prior to burning wood.


Guidelines from the DEP:

  • Allow wood to season for at least six months before burning it, meaning the wood should sit outdoors for at least this period of time. Seasoned wood is darker, has cracks in the end grain and sounds hollow when smacked against another piece of wood. Wood gathered after Superstorm Sandy is most likely dry enough now for proper burning but the longer the wood sits before burning, the better that the wood will burn, provided it is stored in a dry place.
  • Use a wood moisture meter to test the moisture content of wood. Wood burns most efficiently when its moisture content is below 20 percent.
  • Store wood, stacked neatly off the ground with the top covered to avoid rainwater.
  • Start fires with newspaper and dry kindling, and keep them burning hot.
  • Regularly remove ashes to ensure proper airflow.
  • Never burn garbage, cardboard, plastics, wrapping materials, painted materials or other materials in your stove or fireplace.
  • Remember to keep anything flammable – including drapes, furniture, newspapers and books – far away from any wood-burning appliance. Keep an accessible and recently inspected fire extinguisher nearby.

Best of NJ101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.