Your local council can offer safety tips if you intend to use wood heating this winter.
Your local council can offer safety tips if you intend to use wood heating this winter. Jenna Cairney

Distinctive scent of wood smoke means Jack Frost is about

THE SMELL of wood smoke in the night air is a sure sign winter is curling its icy fingers around us.

Wood heaters are warm, cosy and a great way to heat your home but the smoke can also be a major source of pollution.

It can also be a real nuisance around your home and neighbourhood and if not careful, a health hazard.

Smoke may contain fine particles and toxic compounds that can cause respiratory problems so the Mid North Coast Regional Organisation of Councils (MIDROC) has created the Do it Right - Burn it Bright initiative.

The project aims to provide residents with information on the ways they can improve the operation of their wood heaters.

Handy tips include:

- Use several small logs instead of one large one and stack them loosely so that air can circulate

- Use seasoned, untreated wood as unseasoned wood contains moisture which causes smoke

- Don't burn rubbish, driftwood, painted or treated wood

- Get a hot fire going quickly and use plenty of paper and small kindling to start

- Open air controls fully when lighting and loading and keep air controls open enough to ensure your fire is burning brightly

- Maintain a bright flame and never let your heater smoulder

- Check your chimney regularly and if there is a lot of smoke, increase the air supply to your fire

- Have your chimney cleaned regularly to prevent creosote build-up

Make sure you have the fire emergency contact number handy.

For further help contact your local MIDROC member - Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Nambucca, Kempsey, Port Macquarie - Hastings, Greater Taree or Gloucester.



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