Fall is often considered "burn season" because many communities schedule certain time periods to be the time for open burning. Open burning is the burning of any materials in which air contaminants are emitted directly into the air without first passing through a stack or chimney.

Did you know that in addition to posing a fire hazard during times of drought, the open burning of one household's trash releases dangerous pollutants in higher levels than burning the trash of thousands of homes by a municipal waste incinerator? The open burning of certain trade wastes and tires also produces toxic emissions harmful to human health; therefore, the open burning of these types of wastes is strictly prohibited.

Burning trash in barrels and woodstoves creates a low temperature fire. More smoke is produced and more toxic air pollutants are released in low temperature fires. Smoke can cause eye and lung irritation, headaches, dizziness, coughing, wheezing, asthma and even death. Children and older people are more sensitive to air pollution and particles from open burning.

Check with your local regulations before burning. For more information about open burning regulations:
Facts on Open Burning Under Missouri Regulations, Fact Sheet--PUB2047

For more information about waste disposal, visit www.dnr.mo.gov/swmp.

What's in Your Chimney?

Many people use fireplaces or wood stoves to heat their homes during the winter. Each year more than one-third of residential fires in rural areas are heating fires. Creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes can contribute to fire possibilities. To burn safely follow these steps:

  • Have a certified chimney specialist inspect your chimney or wood stove each year
  • While burning leave the glass doors open to prevent creosote buildup.
  • Installing a stovepipe thermometer will help monitor flue temperatures.

FEMA Video: How to Properly Extinguish a Fire

Burn Wise www.epa.gov/burnwise logo
fireplace image
Wood smoke may smell good but it's not good for you
One old stove can emit as much air pollution as 5 dirty old diesel trucks
tiny particles in wood smoke can affect your health
heart impacts and lung impacts of wood smoke
label: four easy steps to reduce wood smoke
burn dry seasoned wood, 20% moisture or less is best
Use cleaner burning stove and provide sufficient air to fire

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