With cold temperatures arriving, cost-conscious Ohioans will be looking to save money on heating expenses. For many, the solution is burning firewood. Officials at the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) responsible for enforcing Ohio's firewood laws remind Ohioans to follow some basic tips when purchasing wood to heat their homes.
It is important for consumers to know firewood rules and regulations prior to a purchase:
* If firewood is advertised and sold as seasoned, it must have a moisture content of less than 50 percent. Unseasoned wood will only produce 2/3 of the heat of seasoned wood.
* If the firewood is advertised and sold as a certain type of wood, the load must contain at least 90 percent of that species.
* Non-packaged firewood must be sold by the cord or by fractions of a cord. One cord, when properly stacked, should be 8 feet long by 4 feet high and 4 feet wide (128 cubic feet).
* If sold in bulk, firewood must be purchased by the weight in ton measurements. This must be weighed on a certified scale.
* It is illegal to sell firewood by any other unit of measurement such as a rick, rack, face cord, or truckload. If a consumer believes that a seller did not comply with these rules and regulations, the person should immediately contact the seller.
* If non-packaged firewood is purchased, the seller must present the consumer with a delivery ticket or sales invoice that includes contact information and the terms and conditions of the sale.
Consumers should also be aware that firewood is often home to invasive insects, and when moved, contributes to the spread of these pests. As a result, 44 infested counties in the state have been placed under Emerald Ash Borer quarantine. Firewood cannot be moved out of this quarantine area, and according to law, violators face fines up to $4,000. For a map of Ohio's quarantined counties as well as a detailed explanations of the quarantine, visit www.ohioagriculture.gov/eab or call 1-888-OHIO-EAB.
If a problem occurs with a firewood sale and the seller will not correct the problem, consumers should contact the ODA Division of Weights and Measures at 1-800-282-1955 or contact their local weights and measures inspector located in the county auditor's office.