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Home chimney smoke
Tips and local rules to reduce air pollution

Tips for cleaner burning

Breathing wood smoke harms our lungs and hearts.
The following suggestions will keep you and your community safer and healthier:

  1. Save your fireplace or woodstove for special occasions. Especially avoid using it when the air is stagnant. Check the website of your local air pollution control district for current and forecast air pollution conditions.
  2. Don’t burn plastics, chemicals, wrapping paper, magazines or colored or coated papers (including newspaper inserts and junk mail). Also don’t burn charcoal, coal or holiday greens. All of these can emit toxic chemicals when burned.
  3. Be a good neighbor and notice your smoke. Build small hot fires rather than large smoldering ones. Using seasoned hardwoods produces much less smoke.
  4. Replace gas fireplaces with a direct-vent, sealed combustion gas fireplace or woodstove, which do not emit smoke into the room.
  5. Have your chimney cleaned at the start of each woodburning season.
  6. Never use gasoline, charcoal lighter or other fuel to light a fire; the vapors can explode.
  7. Install smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide sensor in your home.

For information on alternatives to burning wood, reducing wood smoke and getting more heat for your fuel dollar, see ARB's Woodburning Handbook.