Firewood Safety Tips and Information
Firewood is a great form of heat that provides an great ambiance. Did you know that over 25% of Canadians use firewood? Whether firewood is your main source for heat or only a secondary source, make your experience efficient, convenient and safe. Follow this quick guide to burning firewood and you will have a better chance of avoiding certain frustration as well as possible dangers to your home and family.
Before you do anything, be sure your fire detectors and or alarms are functioning properly. Fire detectors are equipped with a button that usually protrudes from the cover. Hold that down until it makes noise.
It is also very you have at least one fire extinguisher that has been serviced recently. If you have any questions or concerns about fire extinguishers, visit your local fire department.
Victoria Fire Department
In case of emergency call 9-1-1
Administration Office: 250.920.3350
Fire Prevention: 250.920.3360
Langford Fire Department
Station No. 1
2625 Peatt Road
Phone: (250) 478-9555
Fax: (250) 391-3438 (same number for Station No. 2 and No. 3)
Email Contact: Kathy Bell, Administrative Assistant at email@example.com
Station No. 2
3205 Happy Valley Road
Phone: (250) 478-6938
Station No. 3
2872 Sooke Lake Road
Phone: (250) 474-2731
Chimney and Fireplace Maintenance
Be sure to have your fireplace cleaned and inspected by a professional annually. Many stores currently market chimney cleaning logs but please don’t rely on these to clean your chimney. Not only do they release terrible chemicals but they simply knock debris down closer to the base of the chimney which is also the hottest. In our opinion, these chimney cleaning logs could actually be a hazard.
How to Measure Firewood
Firewood is measured using units called cords. They measure 4ft by 4ft x 8ft or 128 cubic feet. Considering some homes we service use up to 6 cords per year, this can safe you a lot of money and is a matter of principle. We also sell half cords and some vendors may offer face cords. A face cord is one third of a full cord or 42.6 cubic ft.
You Get What You Pay For
Like many things in life, often with firewood you get what you paid for. There are lots of different people on websites like UsedVictoria, Kijiji or Craigslist that offer seasoned firewood but unfortunately they aren’t all selling the truth. The good news is it is easier than ever to see if firewood is ready to burn. Using a simple moisture content reader, a good firewood dealer can instantly show customers evidence that their firewood is seasoned and ready to burn.
Firewood Burning Tips
- Ask your neighbors if they can recommend someone with great firewood.
- Make a few phone calls and ask some questions. A good firewood dealer is happy to help.
- Schedule your delivery during the daylight. Weekend warrior firewood dealers often show up late intentionally as it makes the firewood hard to see.
- Be sure to ask about firewood lengths. Many new inserts can only fit smaller pieces of firewood.
- Do not buy loose firewood. All firewood should be measured and stacked. Loose firewood generally has only about 60% of the volume that stacked wood has.
- If you have the space, order, stack and store your firewood during the spring months. This ensures your firewood will be seasoned and ready to burn if your firewood dealer doesn’t have kilns.
Best Tree Species for Firewood in Canada
Here is a brief list of trees commonly used for home heating in Canada. This list is ordered by ranking of quality as firewood.
- Sugar Maple
- Yellow Birch
- Red Elm
- Red Maple
- Douglas Fir
- White Birch
- Manitoba Maple
- Big Leaf Maple
- Red Alder