which side of the fire do you sit on???

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which side of the fire do you sit on???

Postby bodhi » Mon Oct 16, 2006 7:25 am

i am writing concerning a problem that seems to be getting worse each year. the problem is air pollution. I am speaking of the type of pollution that comes from the new inexpensive status toy. the backyard fire pit. now even in the summer months, it is almost impossible to open the windows. No matter which way the wind blows, someone is burning their recreational fire. I have come to believe that the only recreational value in this device is for the one burning the wood. everyone else suffers and gags... so much for consideration of the neighbors. whats that i hear? " but its legal." " i have a right to burn this wood in my back yard." maybe so, but driving a car is legal too, do you have the right to drive over people with your car? i find it stunning that so many adults act so childish and inconsiderate.
i challenge the wood burners to answer these questions:
1) when your fire pit is burning, do you leave the windows of your home open?
2) when there is a wind, which side of the pit do you sit on?
now, i could be wrong but my guess is that you do not leave the windows of YOUR home open as your pit is smoking and burning. i would also bet that you sit in a position where you are not in the direct path of the smoke/fumes and other byproducts of YOUR fire.
herein lies the problem... try to follow this logic:
your neighbor, who is getting smoked out by YOUR recreational fire cannot move his house out of the path of YOUR smoke. you on the other hand can just get up and move your chair away from the smoke and stink.
i challenge you wood burners to sit in the smoke and stink of YOUR fire instead of moving your chair to the fresh air side.
i also challenge you to leave your home windows open while you burn your pit.
in the long run, you will drive down the value of your own neighborhood. try to sell your house then. who wants to live in a suburb of adult children that smells like a war zone?
~bodhi
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Postby FriendofAir » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:03 am

Good points and observations!

To me, it's much like playing your music too loud. I personally think you should be able to play your music as loud as you want, burn fires as much as you want, as long as you can keep the smoke and noise in or on your property without bothering anybody else.

Doing otherwise is simply inconsiderate, at best.
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weird

Postby woodburner » Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:03 am

I rarely go a week without a raging bonfire in my backyard. I figure as long as I don't catch any standing trees on fire I'm aok. But then again, you would never catch me living within 30 yards of a neighbor.
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neighbors

Postby bodhi » Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:47 am

woodburner,
you and i can agree on one thing!
i like your 30 yard riff. i am thinking more about 30 minutes.
maybe somewhere on leased national forest land.
nice.......
don't forget to put the fire comletely out when you
go inside,
~bodhi
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Which side of the fire do you sit on?

Postby Wilberforce » Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:51 pm

I live in an urban neighborhood. There are way too many of these summertime fires
creating air pollution. I'm not as much against wintertime fires, when windows are closed,
but these firepits go over the line. In rural areas, the nearest neighbor may live down the
road 1/4 mile or so. In my area, there are backyard burners within as little as 50 feet from
my house. The rural guy may encounter 1 fire per square mile, while I have to put up with
dozens of fires within a 1/4 mile radius of my house.

In my township, these open fires are ILLEGAL without a permit. I've spoken with the town
fire marshall, and he said that he has not issued any permits in years! Well, I'm getting ready
to take action on this matter.

I suggest that those who are affected by smoke from backyard fires research their town's
fire ordinances. In my town, a burning permit costs $125 and is good for only one day.
Suggest to your town mayor and town fathers that they are losing money by not enforcing
the town burning ordinance (if your town has one). If not, get one passed.
These polluter lawbreakers are not likely to fork over that much money every time they
want to burn a fire! Hopefully, that may reduce the number of fires.

I think the reason for the rising popularity of the backyard firepits comes from marketing
practices of the big fireplace manufacturing companies. They promote many types of
outdoor burning vessels: some look like a Chinese cooking wok, some are screened-in
containers, others have smokestacks. They want to make money selling these blasted things,
and people are buying them. Just go to your local department store, or home and garden
store, they sell them. I'v seen them advertised on TV.

Some people don't even bother with the store-bought firepit. One neighbor had a small Weber
barbecue loaded up with wood 3 feet high, and proceeded to drench the woodpile with gasoline
(I was watching this event unfold) he lit it, and flames spewed upwards about 8 feet into the air!
What's more, this took place right on his wood deck! I called the fire department on this joker.
Now that I think about it, let this guy burn his house down; that's between him and his insurance
company. As long as I don't smell the smoke.
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Re: Which side of the fire do you sit on?

Postby Harley » Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:03 pm

Woodnyet wrote:I live in an urban neighborhood. There are way too many of these summertime fires
creating air pollution. I'm not as much against wintertime fires, when windows are closed,
but these firepits go over the line. In rural areas, the nearest neighbor may live down the
road 1/4 mile or so. In my area, there are backyard burners within as little as 50 feet from
my house. The rural guy may encounter 1 fire per square mile, while I have to put up with
dozens of fires within a 1/4 mile radius of my house.

OK, again I'll agree with you there - fortunately, (or not - depending on your standpoint). I live in an area where that is not a problem. I'll again say I don't really burn outdoors, except for the grill, and the brush burning pile once per year. and of course - I'm not against a little neighborhood get-together in the summer with a bonfire going either - because it is not a problem in a rural area

In my township, these open fires are ILLEGAL without a permit. I've spoken with the town
fire marshall, and he said that he has not issued any permits in years! Well, I'm getting ready
to take action on this matter.

I suggest that those who are affected by smoke from backyard fires research their town's
fire ordinances. In my town, a burning permit costs $125 and is good for only one day.
Suggest to your town mayor and town fathers that they are losing money by not enforcing
the town burning ordinance (if your town has one). If not, get one passed.
These polluter lawbreakers are not likely to fork over that much money every time they
want to burn a fire! Hopefully, that may reduce the number of fires.

I'm all in favor of enforcing existing laws - if that's the rule - get a permit

I think the reason for the rising popularity of the backyard firepits comes from marketing
practices of the big fireplace manufacturing companies. They promote many types of
outdoor burning vessels: some look like a Chinese cooking wok, some are screened-in
containers, others have smokestacks. They want to make money selling these blasted things,
and people are buying them. Just go to your local department store, or home and garden
store, they sell them. I'v seen them advertised on TV.

Here's where I think you are completly off base here and pointing the blame where it doesn't belong. It's not the "big fireplace manufactures" selling this crap. The big ones (and many of the smaller ones as well) are designing wood burning appliances that are clean burning and efficient, and well below EPA standards. If you want to blame someone - blame the neighbors for being inconsiderate - blame the local stores selling this imported crap that's not worth the cheap metal it's made out of - blame the local officials who don't want to enforce the laws on the books. Don't try to shift the blame to the many of us who do burn wood for heat in a responsible manner, and certainly not to the manufacturers of the stoves that make the products that help us do that.



Some people don't even bother with the store-bought firepit. One neighbor had a small Weber
barbecue loaded up with wood 3 feet high, and proceeded to drench the woodpile with gasoline
(I was watching this event unfold) he lit it, and flames spewed upwards about 8 feet into the air!
What's more, this took place right on his wood deck! I called the fire department on this joker.
Now that I think about it, let this guy burn his house down; that's between him and his insurance
company. As long as I don't smell the smoke.

I have a hard time believing that a little webber grill could hold a stack of wood 3 feet high, but If I had an idiot like that living next door to me - I wouldn't have called the fire department - I would have let the fire go...if the fire started to spread - I would have been over and make sure everyone was out and safe, and then call the FD, and let them deal with the consequenses.
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Which side of the fire do you sit on?

Postby Wilberforce » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:50 pm

Harley wrote: Don't try to shift the blame to the many of us who do burn wood for heat in a responsible manner,
and certainly not to the manufacturers of the stoves that make the products that help us do that.


Harley,
I am not against manufacturers of EPA - certified woodstoves, nor the people who heat their house
with them in low-population density parts of the country. The thing is, I am talking specifically about
the summertime warm-weather cheap so-called "firepits" which are used in back yards of people
living in high-population density cities, such as where I live. I think you may be confusing this with
responsible, low-emission wintertime wood-heating in rural areas, something I am not against.

My next-door neighbor's house is only 18 feet away. Like I said in my post, if he lived 1/4 of a mile away,
and burned a bonfire, I probably wouldn't even know about it, unless the wind were just right.
In the city, people practically live on top of each other. There must be compromise and understanding
between neighbors, but unfortunately, in the city, the opposite is usually true.
By the way, I'm not totally against woodburning, as my screen name may suggest.
Just irresponsible, reckless wood burning.
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Postby FriendofAir » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:49 am

As I have mentioned in other posts, I find it ironic that there are more cities beginning to ban outdoor cigarette smoking while still allowing fireplace and firepits.

I would rather have all my neighbors smoke cigarettes than have one with a firepit!
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which side of the fire do you sit on?

Postby Wilberforce » Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:28 pm

FriendofAir wrote:As I have mentioned in other posts, I find it ironic that there are more cities beginning
to ban outdoor cigarette smoking while still allowing fireplace and firepits.

It is probably easier to outlaw tobacco because of it's horrible stench. In my humble opinion,
cigarette smoke smells worse than a rotting, maggot-infested carcass under the hot sun.
On the other hand, wood smoke is not that bad, and does not have an objectionable odor if a fire
is a great distance away, since the chemicals are in extremely low concentrations. I've actually
mistook the scent of certain flowers for distant wood smoke.

It's harder to ban something that people like, or find pleasant. A lot of people tell me that they
like the smell of wood smoke. I confess, I used to, too. That is, until I found out how dangerous
to health wood smoke is. The thing here is that, not everything that smells nice is harmless.
In the gas chamber (to execute criminals) they use hydrogen cyanide, which has a not-unpleasant
smell of almonds. Yet, this gas is deadly!
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Re: Which side of the fire do you sit on?

Postby Harley » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:12 pm

Woodnyet wrote:Harley,
I am not against manufacturers of EPA - certified woodstoves, nor the people who heat their house
with them in low-population density parts of the country. The thing is, I am talking specifically about
the summertime warm-weather cheap so-called "firepits" which are used in back yards of people
living in high-population density cities, such as where I live. I think you may be confusing this with
responsible, low-emission wintertime wood-heating in rural areas, something I am not against.

This is great - I think we are making some headway here. My previous point was that your post about "big fireplace manufacturers" pushing some of the crap, and marketing it. I really don't believe that is the case. I don't think they are the ones to blame for whatever "trend" might be going on in urban areas. One issue I have (if you haven't already noticed it in some posts) is that I find it somewhat irritating that many here do tend to lump all people who burn wood for whatever reason in the same group - that we are all reckless, irresponsible, uneducated individuals, and don't give a crap about the environment. I do believe there are places where you shouldn't be open burning, and also the OWB makers really need to get on board with EPA standards (and exceed them, like the stove manufacturers do). Again - I agree with you - location makes a big difference.



My next-door neighbor's house is only 18 feet away. Like I said in my post, if he lived 1/4 of a mile away,
and burned a bonfire, I probably wouldn't even know about it, unless the wind were just right.
In the city, people practically live on top of each other. There must be compromise and understanding
between neighbors, but unfortunately, in the city, the opposite is usually true.

Yes there does need to be compromise and understanding - sorry that the opposite is usually true in the city. That's why I don't live in one. By the same token, I don't think it's right to have a former "city" person move into an area more rural and start complaining and trying to change the occaisional outdoor wood burning, or to completly vilify any one who burns wood for heat with a very safe and clean burning stove that is better for the environment than any of the practical alternatives. It seems like you do understand that, and quite frankly, that's not the normal perspective for most on this site for someone that does seem to have a problem neighbor - I hope you can work that out.



By the way, I'm not totally against woodburning, as my screen name may suggest.
Just irresponsible, reckless wood burning.
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which side of the fire do you sit on?

Postby Wilberforce » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:53 pm

Harley, thank you for your response.

The reason that I understand wood burning, is that I used to do it for many years.
I can't do it now, because my landlord forbids it. (There is a natural gas log here,
it takes some getting used to, but it's ok)
It really is cool to talk with a woodburning guy who is also concerned about low
emissions from his fireplace! It does seem that you are a rare breed.
Too many people who burn wood do not seem to give a damn about what is
blowing out their chimney, nor what effect the smoke has on their neighbors.

As I've said before, the goal is low-emissions. Unfortunately, wood smoke can
be dangerous to human health, so people need to make the effort to burn hot,
efficient fires, not smoldering stinkbombs. Unfortunately, the latter is usually true.
That comes from inexperience and lack of knowledge.

I am going to post the results of an experiment I have conducted back in March.
It will be posted as a new topic, not into this thread. It is called : "Six steps to a
smokeless wood fire." The tips I am offering will be targeted to inexperienced
woodburners. You probably already know all of these tricks, but I would certainly
appreciate any additional tips you can add.
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