A lot of homeowners have concerns while burning leftover pallet wood. Some people suggest that you should never do so because of the pallets being treated with chemicals while some suggest that it is completely safe to do so. Let’s take a look at whether you should burn pallet woods and how to tell if it is safe to do so.
Burning Pallet wood should be safe as long as they have not been treated with chemicals like methyl bromide. These Pallet wood can be recognized by the stamp ‘MB” on them. Other types of wood are just dried and compressed firewood which should be okay to burn.
What is Pallet Wood?
Wood pallets are structures made of regular lumber which are either treated with heat or chemicals to increase their structural integrity. They are usually used to provide structural support during transport.
Pallet woods are chosen because of their reliability and the fact that they are cheap to procure. Although they usually end up being a part of the trash, they start off with good quality wood which can be found in furniture, etc. They are also easily repairable and recyclable.
Can You Burn Pallet Wood?
Yes, you can! In most cases that is. Pallet wood when they have not been treated with chemicals such as methyl bromide is just compressed and heat-treated wood which can act as an excellent firewood. When wood is heat-treated for becoming a part of a pallet, it becomes extremely dry, and that helps it catch fire quickly.
But on the other hand, you will need to be extra careful and check whether the pallet wood was treated with any harmful chemicals or not while it was being made. Not just chemicals, you also need to be careful whether the pallet is painted or not.
How to Tell If a Pallet Wood Is Safe To Burn Or Not?
The first step is to check whether the pallet is painted or not. Burning painted wood can be extremely dangerous to your health as it can release fumes and gases which not only cause immediate health issues but can also have long-term sustained damage to your health.
The other step is to check how the pallet was treated before it was made. This can be done through the stamp on the pallet.
If the stamp says, ‘HT’, then it means that it was heat treated and the pallet should be good to go for burning. If the stamp says, ‘MB’, then it means it was methyl bromide treated and it should not be burnt no matter what. ‘DB’ and ‘KD’ means debarked and kiln-dried and these are also good to burn.
In recent pallets, you can also look out for the IPPC logo which certifies whether a pallet was heat-treated or chemically treated, you can also see the producer’s unique number and where it was produced. Some pallets without this logo can also be safe but at the same time, there is no way to find out for sure if chemicals were used or not.
Is Pallet Wood Treated?
In some cases, the pallet wood can be treated with chemicals. This was usually done with older pallets to increase their strength and durability but the practice is not that prevalent anymore.
Can You Burn Pallet Wood With Nails in it?
Yes, you can! Just make sure there are not a lot of nails stuck inside the pallet and that the pallet is not wet when you start burning them. Wet wood can release steam which can turn the nails into hot projectiles.
Having too many nails can also reduce the burning efficiency of the pallet wood.
How Do Wood Pallets Burn?
For the most optimal use of wood pallets, you should ideally cut them down into smaller planks. Cutting them right where the planks meet the beam or at their ‘joint’ would be most ideal.
Because wood pallets are heat treated, they are devoid of the most moisture. A lot of times, the wood is also compressed while making a pallet which makes it denser. This also means that more fuel is packed within them. Wood pallets are also thin, which makes it easier for them to catch fire.
All of these factors make wood pallets excellent firewood, especially to get the fire going. But keep in mind that they don’t burn for as long.
Is Burning Pallets Illegal?
Not really unless the local laws in your area say that burning painted or treated wood is illegal, in which case if your pallet has been treated or if it’s painted then burning it would be illegal. If that is not the case then pallet wood is just heat-treated firewood.
Is Burning Wood Pallet Safe?
Yes! As long as no chemicals were used while treating it.
You should not burn pallet wood if it has been treated with Methyl Bromide and these pallet wood can be recognized by the stamp ‘MB’ on it. Other than this, most pallet wood can be used for burning.
I am the guy behind Theyardable.com. I grew up on a homestead and I am here to share the knowledge I have and things I learn while living in the countryside.