fireplace FAQ

How Can I Prevent Fires When Disposing Of Ash?

Short Answer: You can prevent fires when disposing of ash by allowing the ash to cool completely and use a metal container with a tight-fitting lid to contain the ash. Use proper ash shovels and brushes to transfer the ash and store them at least 10 feet away from your home.

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A cozy fire on a chilly night can be a relaxing and inviting atmosphere, but it’s essential to remember the importance of properly disposing of fireplace ash. Failing to do so can lead to fires, property damage, and even injuries.

Lindemann values your safety above all else, which is why give this advice to all of our customers regarding the proper disposal of their ash. We will discuss how to safely handle and dispose of fireplace ash to prevent fires and keep your home safe.

Understanding The Nature of Fireplace Ash

Fireplace ash consists of the powdery residue left behind after burning wood or other solid fuels. It can contain various materials, such as unburned wood, charcoal, and trace minerals. Ash can remain hot for a surprisingly long time, and even seemingly cold ash may still contain hidden embers. These embers can ignite other materials, leading to fires. That’s why proper safety measures must be taken when handling the ash left behind in your fireplace.

Safety Measures For Handling Fireplace Ash

There are risks associated with handling fireplace ash. Therefore, in order to keep yourself and your family safe, you should take proper safety precautions so as to mitigate such risks. Here are some of the things to keep in mind in order to keep safe.

Allowing sufficient time for cooling

Before disposing of fireplace ash, it’s crucial to allow it to cool completely. As a general rule, ash should be left undisturbed in the fireplace for at least 24-48 hours. However, this cooling period may vary depending on the type of fuel burned, the size of the fire, and the residual heat in the fireplace.

Use of appropriate tools and containers

When handling and disposing of ash, always use metal containers with tight-fitting lids. Metal containers are non-combustible and can contain any lingering embers. Additionally, use proper ash shovels and brushes to safely transfer ash from the fireplace to the container.

Safe location for storing ash containers

Store ash containers on a non-combustible surface, such as concrete or brick, and away from flammable materials. Keep the container at least 10 feet away from your home or any other structures, ensuring that any residual heat or embers do not pose a fire risk.

Disposal Options For Fireplace Ash

When it comes to disposing of the ash from your fireplace, there are a few different options. No options are better than others, it comes down to your personal preference. With that said, let’s look at recycling ash, disposing of ash, and other creative uses to consider.


Fireplace ash can be a valuable resource for gardens and compost piles. Wood ash is rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, which can benefit plants. When recycling ash, make sure it is completely cool and mix it into your compost pile or soil to avoid concentrated deposits.

Disposing of ash in a landfill

If recycling is not an option, you can dispose of fireplace ash at a local waste facility or landfill. Check with your local waste management company for guidelines on proper disposal, as some facilities may require specific procedures or containers.

Other creative uses for fireplace ash

There are several other ways to utilize fireplace ash in and around your home. For example, you can create homemade cleaning products by mixing ash with water to form a paste. This paste can be used to clean glass, metal, and other surfaces. Additionally, fireplace ash can be used as a traction aid on icy surfaces during the winter months.

Tips For Dealing With Hot Ashes And Embers

In addition to the previous information listed, there are a few tips that we often give our customs regarding how to deal with hot ashes and embers from the fireplace. At Lindemann, we value safety above all. So keep these tips in mind and take the proper precautions when handling ashes and embers.

  • Ashes/embers can stay hot for days after a fire.
  • When disposing of ashes outside DON’T dump them on a combustible surface.
  • Use water to wet the ashes/embers to make sure they are completely out.
  • Only use an approved metal ash bucket. It should have a tight fitting metal lid and a double-bottom.
  • Don’t dump ashes outside on a windy day. The wind can whip up what may have seemed cool embers, making them fiery hot and sending them traveling to ignite nearby combustibles.
  • Never burn garbage, wrapping paper, plastic, cardboard or anything not specifically approved for use in a fireplace. These items can lead to a chimney fire and can cause large embers to exit the flue igniting nearby combustibles.
  • Never dump ashes into a plastic container, cardboard box, bag, or anything or place where combustible fluids of fumes are present.


By following best practices for safe ash disposal, you can prevent fires and ensure the safety of your home and family. Remember to allow sufficient time for cooling, use appropriate tools and containers, and store ash in a safe location. By handling fireplace ash responsibly, you can continue to enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a cozy fire without the risk of unintended consequences.