Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Proper Ash Removal

When you use a wood-burning fireplace or stove, you must perform a few maintenance tasks to keep your fireplace or stove working efficiently and safely. One of these tasks is removing ashes from the firebox at least once a week during burning season. If you allow ashes to build up, it not only creates a messy situation, but it could also start an accidental fire that could spread into your home. One of our top priorities at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service is fire safety, and we would like to share with you some information from Urban Overalls about safely removing ashes.

Why do I need to remove ashes once a week?

Proper Ash Removal - Jackson MS - Santa's FriendBesides the fact that hot embers could possibly start an accidental fire, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends removing ashes because the grate may burn out quicker than normal if a layer of ashes is deep enough to come into contact with the grate. Additionally, you will not be able to put as much firewood into your fireplace or stove if you have a very deep layer of ashes in the firebox.

How do I safely remove ashes?

First, you will need the right tools: a metal container with a lid, a metal ash shovel, protective gloves, and a face mask to reduce the risk of breathing in ash residue. Open your fireplace or stove doors and begin scooping out the ashes with the shovel. Place the ashes in your metal container. If you come across any smoldering ashes, leave them in the firebox. Leave a layer of ashes that is around one half to one inch to provide insulation to the firebox. This will make it easier to start your next fire. Once you have scooped out the ashes into the container, place the container outside on a non-combustible surface such as concrete or brick to prevent an accidental fire.

What are some helpful tips for safely removing ashes?


  • Wait at least 24 hours after the fire has been extinguished before you begin removing ashes.


  • Treat all ashes as if they were hot.


  • Always close the container with its lid to keep the ashes contained if it should get knocked over by heavy winds. You also want to keep oxygen from coming into contact with these ashes as it could ignite live embers lurking inside.


  • Pour a little water on top of the ashes in the container after removing them.


  • Wait at least three days before disposing of the ashes. You can dump fully cooled ashes into a garbage bag.
  • You can sprinkle ashes onto your garden beds or work the ashes into your compost pile, if you wish.

Want more fire safety tips? Contact us at Santa’s Friend Chimney Service to find out more information on using your fireplace or stove safely.

By on November 11th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment