Burn, Baby Burn? Why You Shouldn’t Be Burning Your Old Swing Set

Is burning your old swing set the easiest solution or a dangerous mistake waiting to happen? This is the topic we’re looking at today.

Disposing of an old wooden swing set by burning it may seem easy, but seriously, don’t do it. There are nasty environmental impacts and risks involved with burning old treated wood, including air and water pollution, and soil contamination, as well as fire hazards to consider. 

To protect the environment and the health of your community, take the necessary precautions and get rid of it responsibly, without fire.

can you burn your old wooden swing set? NO!

The Dangers Of Burning An Old Swing Set

It’s probably no surprise to you that burning an old wooden swing set can harm the environment. I mean, you’ve probably been told all your life that you can’t burn pressure treated wood.  

But do you know why?

Let’s take a closer look at the risks involved with burning an old swing set, both the environmental ones and other risks. 

I think it’ll be clear why it’s important to dispose of your old swing set properly… without getting out an ax and a match.

Environmental Risks

If you choose to burn your old wooden swing set, sure, it’ll be off your hands a lot faster, but you’ll be actively contributing to the pollution levels in your local environment: specifically, air pollution, water pollution, and soil pollution. 

Air Pollution: What Goes Up Must Come Down

burning a swing set means air pollutionWhen you burn old treated wood, it releases harmful chemicals like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide into the air. 

Yuck. A toxic “yuck”.

These can cause respiratory issues for anything that breathes it in (you, Fido, the cows in the neighboring field, your friends who came for the bonfire).

Some of the discovered ones are asthma, bronchitis, and even lung cancer. 

Besides breathing in the toxic fumes and causing lung issues, there are also eye irritations to consider.

You might think, “well, I won’t stand directly in the smoke… it’ll be fine!” Unfortunately not. Burning pressure treated wood simply isn’t safe.

The smoke and ash from the fire contain tiny particles that can travel long distances  on the breeze, before coming down to settle on the ground, water, or other surfaces.

You burning that old wood in the morning may contaminate the air you breathe later on during your lunch time barbecue with friends, or the air your kids are breathing when they come outside to play in the afternoon, long after the fire has died out. 

Water Pollution: The Ripple Effect

When the ashes and debris from the fire mix with rainwater, they can pollute nearby water sources, including rivers, streams, and lakes. 

And an obvious result of this would be that the chemicals you release when you burn pressure treated lumber end up harming aquatic life and the plants that grow in those ponds or lakes.

Soil Pollution: Under The Surface

burning a swing set can lead to soil pollutionIf you burn an old pressure treated wooden swing set, as we’ve already said, the ash and debris contain harmful chemicals. They get born off by the wind, but also quickly seep into the ground and contaminate the soil. 

This can happen already even just hours after the fire has burnt out, so thinking you can scoop up the ash out of your fire pit the next day just won’t cut it. 

The soil contamination can negatively affect the plants in the area, including whatever you might be growing in your backyard. Animals too may end up being affected, as they often nibble on whatever is growing in your yard. 

All in all, burning an old wood swing set is just plain old bad stuff for the environment.

Fire Hazards And Other Risks

Burning an old wooden swing set can be a disaster waiting to happen, not just because of the chemicals. 

Not only can it lead to wildfires, but smoke inhalation and explosions are also possible risks. 

The old wood might contain chemicals or be treated with substances that can cause the fire to spread or become uncontrollable before you even know it. 

Even if you have experience burning wood, if you choose to burn pretreated wood (and I don’t advise it…) it’s really important to approach this task with caution and be aware of the potential dangers involved.

And by the way… Burning pressure treated lumber is ILLEGAL IN 50 States due to the major health risks. So, that’s another risk you’re taking. Getting a fine. 🙂 

On Burning Pressure Treated Wood

What To Do With An Old Swing Set Instead Of Burning It

If you have an old swing set and you want to get rid of it, burning the wood may seem like the easiest way to get rid of it. But as we’ve discussed, it’s not the best route for environmental and other reasons.

So, what should you do with it?

Check out these 8 Ideas For An Old Swing Set for a discussion on your options.

Looking For Suggestions For New Swing Sets?

In Summary

Burning an old wooden swing set might seem like an easy way to dispose of it, but it comes with potential dangers and risks. Not only can it cause fire hazards, but it can also lead to severe environmental impacts such as air pollution, water contamination, and soil pollution. 

If you care at all about the environment and the health of your community, you’ll want to take the necessary precautions to avoid these risks and dispose of your old swing set responsibly. And that means NOT burning it. 

Related Posts

Leave a Comment