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NORTHWEST HEARTH PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION: KEEPING WARM DURING THE POWER OUTAGE AND 'BURNING CLEAN'

 SEATTLE, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Many Puget Sound area residents left without power Wednesday are turning to fireplaces and woodstoves as their sole source of heat. But greater reliance on the hearth must be balanced with fire prevention and air quality measures, cautions a local spokesperson for the hearth products industry.
 "People who usually use their fireplaces and stoves only occasionally are now using them in excess, and may not be aware of proper usage," said Mike Duval, president of the Northwest Hearth Products Association (HPA).
 For instance, after a major windstorm, people tend to pick up fallen branches and burn them in the fireplace, Duval said.
 "This wood is usually too wet and too green to burn clean. We want to be sure to discourage this because it affects our air quality," he said.
 A serious concern during power outages is the impact on the air we breathe -- from thousands more woodfires than usual. Through the use of clean burning techniques, woodsmoke can be minimized and air quality maintained, Duval said.
 "The best way to minimize this problem is to use a woodstove that's EPA-certified. These newer stoves burn up to 85 percent cleaner than woodstoves sold just a few years ago," Duval said.
 "But for those who don't have an EPA-certified woodstove, there are ways to stay warm and yet burn clean." A primary rule is to "use the right fuel":
 -- Burn only dry, seasoned wood that has been drying for at least six months. Do not burn wood from recently fallen trees and branches.
 -- If existing woodpile is wet, resplit wood before burning.
 -- In fireplaces, firelogs can also be used. Manufactured firelogs should only be used as directed -- burn one log at a time.
 -- Never burn garbage, wet wood, treated wood (such as particle board), foil, plastic or anything that emits dense smoke or noxious fumes.
 -- In Washington, burning paper is legal only to start the fire.
 Duval also cautions homeowners to allow plenty of air into the firebox. It will help the fire burn more efficiently, he said. He cautions against allowing fires to burn overnight. Unless the stove is EPA-certified, the fire will smolder, waste wood, produce little heat and cause substantial air pollution. "Allowing a fire to burn overnight in a fireplace is a serious safety hazard," he pointed out.
 Duval pointed out that improper burning could cause a greater risk of housefires and more restrictions on woodburning.
 He shared the following tips for fire prevention:
 -- Make sure the area around the fireplace and chimney is kept clear.
 -- Always use a fireplace screen.
 -- Place logs at the rear of the fireplace, preferably on a grate.
 -- Never leave the fire unattended.
 -- Always burn a small fire.
 -- Woodstoves or fireplaces that have not been used in several years should be cleaned by a professional chimney sweep.
 The Hearth Products Association, a national group of 1,500 manufacturers, distributors and retailers of the hearth products industry, promotes cleaner woodburning practices as part of its education program. There are 72 HPA members in the Northwest. For more information on the HPA and clean burning tips, contact Patty Hull at 206-778-6162.
 -0- 1/22/93
 /CONTACT: Kelsey Delaney of Evans Group, 206-285-5522, for the Hearth Products Association; or John Crouch of the Hearth Products Association, 916-567-1181/


CO: Hearth Products Association ST: Washington IN: SU:

SW-LM -- SE012 -- 8084 01/22/93 16:54 EST
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Date:Jan 22, 1993
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