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Fireplace ashes can quickly start a fire in and around your home if they are not handled and disposed of properly. Follow these guidelines to help keep your home safe.
• You should always place discarded fireplace ashes in a heavy metal container with a tight fitting metal lid. Approved containers are available commercially. These containers should have a design that keeps the bottom of the container elevated off of surfaces and long handles for carrying. NEVER USE A PAPER BAG, a cardboard box, plastic bucket or a plastic trash bag in the cleaning or cooling process.
• Moisten the ashes and cover the container with the lid. Ashes should be allowed to cool for at least 4 days or longer if possible.
• Never use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes.
• Ashes should be kept in a metal container outside, away from the house to cool. Your garage, house, or deck are not suitable locations for ashes to cool.
• Even after four days, great care should be given in selecting a dump site. Wooded areas or areas with combustible materials should always be avoided. NEVER dump fireplace ashes that have not been cooled and checked .
• Garden areas or flower beds are ideal locations to dump cooled fireplace ashes, allowing many nutrients to return to the soil. Please survey the area and evaluate any additional hazards before disposing of your cooled ashes. Make sure all dry leaves have been removed from the area before dumping your ashes in either a garden or flower bed that is away from the house and remember to moisten the area.