To help consumers make smart purchases, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert to help clarify certain aspects of buying wood to be burned in fireplaces, wood-burning stoves or fire pits, or to be used as fuel.
"Many times firewood is sold by the truckload or by some other imprecise measurement," McDaniel said. "Consumers instead need to purchase firewood by standard units."
The Arkansas Bureau of Standards has imposed precise regulations, which stipulate that all firewood sold in the state must meet standard measurement requirements and must be sold only as a cord, fractional parts of a cord, or in terms of cubic feet. A cord is 128 cubic feet of firewood. To be sure you have a cord, stack and measure the wood. To be sure you have a properly stacked cord, the wood should measure:
- 4 feet wide, 4 feet high, and 8 feet long (4 X 4 X 8 = 128); or
- 2 feet wide, 4 feet high and 16 feet long (2 X 4 X 16 = 128)
The Bureau of Standards requires the seller of the firewood to provide the buyer with a delivery statement listing all the particulars involved in the transaction. The statement must include the names of the seller and the buyer, the delivery date, as well as the quantity and price of the wood that has been delivered.
"Getting a receipt is important in these types of transactions because it provides additional protection to the consumer if questions or problems arise after the sale," McDaniel said.
Dense woods, such as hickory or oak, generate more heat and burn longer than soft woods, like pine or spruce. Seasoned wood is safer than green wood because the higher moisture content in green wood can create a larger buildup of tars and creosote in the chimney, increasing the danger of fire.
"Before purchasing firewood, consumers should carefully consider the quality, price and quantity of the wood," said McDaniel. If there are any questions about purchasing firewood, he said that consumers shouldn't hesitate to contact the Attorney General's Office or the Arkansas State Plant Board, Bureau of Standards at (501) 570-1159.
Click here for help with these and other consumer-related issues from the Consumer Protection Department of the Attorney General's Office or call (501) 682-2341/(toll free) 800-482-8982.