How Long Do Fireplace Ashes Stay Hot? Answered!

Fireplace and wood stove ashes can stay extremely hot for many days without showing any signs of fire. It is essential to know how long this lasts for safe disposal.

How long do fireplace ashes stay hot?

Fireplace ashes can stay hot and flammable for 2 to 4 days. Experts explain how a significant percentage of home fires annually are caused by wrongly disposed of hot ashes. Assuming that the ashes are not flammable leads many homeowners to carelessly discard the ashes resulting in fires.

We talked to firefighters about home fires. Besides that, we interviewed a few homeowners who use firewood furnaces to find out how they dispose of hot ashes and how long it is safe to do so. Read on to learn how to dispose of fireplace ashes and much more.

Why Cleaning Wood Furnaces is Highly Recommended

More than 200 home fires per year can be attributed to furnace fires. This is caused by improper disposal of hot ashes.

Firefighters have also rated hot ashes as a significant cause of fire outbreaks and carbon monoxide poisoning risk.

Storing ashes in the wrong containers because of the assumption that it is cool enough has been the primary cause of such fires.

Note that ashes can potentially stay hot for more than three days.

So ensure that you dispose of hot ash to prevent accidental fire when you put out a firewood fire in your home. 

Hot Ashes Cause Fire

A significant percentage of home fires can be traced back to hot ashes. It is, therefore, crucial to ensure that ashes are adequately cooled before disposing or storing them. Also, pay attention to the appropriate disposal techniques recommended by experts.

How to Dispose of Ashes Correctly

  • Always use a metal shovel to transfer hot ashes from the fireplace to a different appropriate site. Avoid using a vacuum cleaner.
  •  Store all removed ashes outdoors. Avoid putting ashes in the garage or indoor spaces just in case they can still ignite. There is a possibility that the ash may still be scorching despite not burning bright red since the hot coals are hidden and insulated by the ash. Don’t take any chances.
  • Use metallic containers with raised bottoms and a lid. This prevents any possible ignition just in case the ashes are still hot.
  • Store the containers away from exterior walls and ensure they are away from combustible surfaces. Preferably place it on non-combustible surfaces, ensuring it is at least a meter from the garage, house, and shed walls. The container should also be placed somewhere safe and away from hedges, barbecues, flowerbeds, and portable shelters. Make sure all flammable items are nowhere near the ashes.
  • Constantly stir the stored ash occasionally before you eventually dispose of it permanently. The act of stirring gets rid of any hot or igniting coal that could potentially trigger fire outbreaks. Only when no smoke or heat comes from the ash should it be disposed of.
  • It is always advisable to wait at least seven days after removing the ashes from the fireplace before permanently disposing of them. This is the only way one is guaranteed that the ashes are adequately cooled.

Identifying the Right Ash Container

As already mentioned, an appropriate container is needed for proper ash disposal. Do not empty hot ashes in plastic or paper-based containers like cardboard. 

Note that the most suitable ash container is a metallic container with a lid.

However, as you find the correct container, be careful not to store it on the deck or garage, as something could go wrong. The last thing you want to do is to cause a fire because the metallic container got too hot and burned the wooden deck.

Possible Uses of Ash

You can always use the ash from the home furnace in some ways. The only trick is to ensure that the ash cools down completely. 

Below are examples of safe ways to use the ash safely.

Ash can be utilized organically to enhance without jeopardizing the environment’s safety. However, it matters how much of the ash is applied. Learning how to moderate the ash amounts yields positive results.

Use it as Soil Additives

Add cooled ashes to your plants to boost nutrients. Ash is rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and phosphorus.

These are very crucial nutrients for tomatoes which are calcium-loving plants.

  • Use the ash during planting time by adding a quarter cup of ash in the planting hole.

It can help enrich compost. However, moderation is vital since ash is a nutrient enhancer in compost. Sprinkle a small amount of the ash over the compost. Adding excess ash can spoil the compost mixture.

  • Use it to melt ice and improve traction in a way that does not destroy the soil underneath. Note this for future seasons and store some ash for next winter.
  • Use the ash to cover stains that may have been left behind after the ice has melted.
  • Use it around landscaping to reduce infestation of pests. Make sure to spread it around the beds in a consistent manner and around the garden perimeters as well.
  • Use the ash to amend the soil and boost the performance of any lawn. This is one of the easiest ways to increase the pH of a lawn because it is more water-soluble. Test the soil first and consider the plants’ needs before attempting to fix or amend the soil.
  • Use the wood ash to clean the surface. When mixed with a bit of water to form a paste, this ash can clean tarnished metallic surfaces perfectly. Wear protective gloves or cotton cloth to clean the surfaces and protect the skin. It is also advisable to try the paste on a small surface before using it on the entire surface.
  • Use it for soap making. Water and ash mixture can make lye, a critical ingredient in soap making. Ashes from specific woods, especially those rich in potassium, such as hickory and beech, work best for this. Careful production of this soap can help you save a lot of cash that would otherwise be spent on buying a bar or bottle of soap. If You choose to make soap in this manner, find a good and reliable recipe and protect your hands in the process.

Ash can be used practically in some ways. First, learn to store it properly after harvesting it from the furnace.

Key Takeaways

  • Fireplace ashes can stay hot for 2 to 3 days.
  • Wood ash is very is instrumental in the home
  •  Proper storage for hot ash should be a priority for all homeowners.
  • Never dispose of hot ash without ensuring it’s completely cooled down.
  • Proper disposal of hot ash prevents fire outbreaks.

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