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Don’t store logs by your woodburner – here’s why

PICTURE the scene – a roaring log fire indoors and you sitting nice and snug in an armchair admiring the scene.

Perhaps the cat or dog is cuddled on your lap whilst you nurse a hot drink or something a bit stronger in a glass. Maybe you have a book or newspaper in hand to relax.

It’s an ideal scene and evokes the Victorian idyll of yesteryear.

And there are the logs nicely stacked up against the woodburner. It all looks so nice and tidy. Peaceful.

There’s just one problem with what’s happening: you are poisoning yourself. Have a look at the logs leaning against the fiery woodburner. Turn them over properly to have a proper inspection. Do you see a change in colour on the surface of the logs? Also, is there a strange smell in the air?

What’s happening is that a reaction is taking place between the woodburner and the logs touching the hot appliance. Poisonous gas is being released as the organic material in the log is heated and decomposes. Not only that, but the gas is flammable. When wood is alight it emits gas, which blends with oxygen and then flames happen.

Dangerous! In effect, if you lean logs against your hot woodburner (even if it is hot, not just with alight logs inside) you are either poisoning yourself (carbon monoxide) or creating a fire hazard.

The solution is very simple: make sure that ALL logs or any other combustibles are at least 0.5m away from the stove.

Enjoy your indoor fire but don’t take any risks. Please apply these safety guidelines for your own safety and that of your household. If you have any further questions (and you live in Kent areas such as T Wells, Tonbridge, Southborough, Maidstone, Orpington, Pembury, Paddock Wood, Sevenoaks, Hadlow) contact James the Sweep today.

James the Sweep is the top rated Master Chimney Sweep for the county of Kent and nearby East Sussex. He has been sweeping chimneys for more than 20 years and gives free-of-charge advice about hazard risks in the chimney.