Can your ashes!

Chico Fire Department offers tips for fireplace and woodstove users

Fireplaces and woodstoves can be dangerous if not tended to properly, and so can the ashes. The Chico Fire Department’s Fire Prevention & Life Safety Bureau’s “Can Your Ashes” campaign reminds residents to discard ashes in a safe way. Improperly discarded ashes caused 9,870 residential structure fires, resulting in 32 deaths and 171 injuries, according to annual statistics recently released by the National Fire Protection Agency.

The department offers these tips for fireplace and woodstove users:

• Never store ashes in compostable bags, boxes or buckets

• Douse ashes with water

• Place ashes in a heavy metal container with a tight-fitting lid

• Store container outside, away from structures, decks, fences, wood piles and garbage cans

• Do not use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes

• Contact your trash-collection service for disposal guidelines