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.

Firewood Safety

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
Non-Emergency: 250.384.1122
Administration Office: 250.920.3350
Fire Prevention: 250.920.3360
Facsimile: 250.920.3370

Langford Fire Department

Station No. 1

2625 Peatt Road
Langford, BC
V9B 3T9

Phone: (250) 478-9555
Fax: (250) 391-3438 (same number for Station No. 2 and No. 3)

Email Contact: Kathy Bell, Administrative Assistant at

Station No. 2

3205 Happy Valley Road
Langford, BC
V9C 2V9

Phone: (250) 478-6938

Station No. 3

2872 Sooke Lake Road
Langford, BC
V9B 4R3

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.

  1. Arbutus
  2. Ironwood
  3. Hickory
  4. Oak
  5. Sugar Maple
  6. Beech
  7. Yellow Birch
  8. Ash
  9. Red Elm
  10. Red Maple
  11. Tamarack
  12. Douglas Fir
  13. White Birch
  14. Manitoba Maple
  15. Big Leaf Maple
  16. Red Alder
  17. Hemlock
  18. Poplar
  19. Basswood
  20. Spruce
  21. Balsam