Christmas and birthday parties are a time for celebration and fellowship with loved ones. They are also a time for gift giving and with gifts come wrapping paper. Discarded wrapping paper can really start to pile up, especially around Christmas when there are multiple people opening presents. You may think that it would easy to dispose of your wrapping paper in your fireplace, however, this is a bad idea. Although wrapping paper is a wood product, there are some potential hazards associated with burning it. At The Chimney Guy, we want to get the word out that a fireplace is no place for wrapping paper.
Wrapping paper isn’t like normal paper that we use everyday for writing or printing. The colors and decorative designs on wrapping paper are printed using ink pigments which contain a wide variety of different chemical compounds and metals. When burned, some of these pigments can create colorful flames and smoke. Although this may look cool, it is actually very dangerous. The United States has high standards regarding ink quality and safety in wrapping paper manufacturing. However, when the ink burns, the chemistry may change depending on the ink ingredient and the temperature at which it’s burning. So, when you are burning wrapping paper, you never know what airborne particles you may be breathing in.
Another reason not to burn wrapping paper in your fireplace is because it can be a fire hazard. Paper has a very high surface to mass ratio,meaning it burns very quickly and very hot. If you ignite a large quantity of wrapping paper, it can quickly turn into a raging fire that can be hard to manage. This can cause smoke damage to your homes, start a house fire, or if your chimney hasn’t been cleaned in a while, it can cause creosote to combust, starting a chimney fire. Wrapping paper is also very light. This means that little pieces of paper could also float up and out of your chimney and spread to your roof, lawn, and trees, as well as your neighbor’s property. If the wrapping paper is still ignited when this happens, it could cause some very serious problems around the neighborhood.
Call The Chimney Guy with questions!
Fire safety is a priority for us here at The Chimney Guy. That’s why we always discourage burning wrapping paper in your fireplace. If you have any questions about what can and can’t be burned in a fireplace, don’t hesitate to call us at (920) 830-1920 or schedule an appointment online to see if there are any fire hazards in your fireplace or chimney.