Best Wood Burning Practices in the LBI Region, NJ

Driving through the Pinelands of route 72 or route 539, your engulfed in the beautiful trees that make up pathway to our little heaven, Long Beach Island, Ocean County NJ. There are so many different types of trees, plants, flowers, and brush surrounding your vehicle. The island itself has a multitude of different types of trees, enhancing the natural beauty of the island and creating much to explore and enjoy. Occasionally, there are forest fires in the area, a reason we must be aware of how we can protect these beautiful lands. And so it seems, when it comes to fire, certain woods burn better than others. When looking to build your own, contained and safe fire, try these practices for a successful flame.

The perfect fire requires the right wood, the right amount of wood, and a few good techniques to get it going. You want to efficiently and effectively build your fire. To do this, one must start by seasoning your wood for at least six months. This is achieved by storing your wood outdoors, off the ground, with the top covered.

Generally, people think that you want your wood to be bone dry. While damp wood will smoke more than burn, wood burns best when it has a moisture content of less than 20 percent. A helpful tip is investing in a wood moisture meter will allow you to test your wood to determine if it is ready to burn or not. The best wood to buy is wood that is grown locally. This will not only support local businesses who sell firewood but it will also avoid bringing contaminants from other forests into your home.

Now, wood isn’t going to start a successful fire on its own, it needs to be combined with a few other tricks. Most people use old newspapers, kindling, or all natural firestarters to help create the flames they desire. However, you could also install a natural gas or propane log lighter in your open fireplace.

There are a few safety tips to follow that will ensure a successful and enjoyable fire. Keep flammable objects away from your fire. Make sure your buy the right wood and products for the type of fireplace you are using. If you are using manufactured logs, ensure that they are 100 percent compressed sawdust for safe burning. Make sure your fire it hot! Having a smoldering fire it neither safe nor effective. Always remove ashes after use by placing them in a metal container and store outside in a non flammable area. Have a fire extinguisher in the area in case of emergencies. Living in the LBI area, sometimes the air quality can be poor if there are other fires in the area. Consider this when starting your own and maybe pass on creating a fire this time. You never want to add to the already hazardous toxins in the air.

It is important to never burn household trash. Never burn coated, painted, or treated wood as well as wet or rotted wood. And while you walk along the shore line, you may find driftwood. It may seem like a good thing to throw into your fire but you should never burn it.

As beautiful and enjoyable as fires can be, it is important to remember that they are dangerous and you need to be responsible when it comes to feeding the flames. Long Beach Island and the surrounding area is beautiful. To keep it that way, we must practice fire safety and respect. Burn the right wood, fuel it properly, enjoy and be safe!

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In The Kitchen with your Wood Stove 1Including Fireplaces Throughout Your New Home 2