Winter is just around the corner, and as the colder weather approaches, many consumers will begin stocking up on firewood. Arkansas consumers should avoid purchasing firewood that is not sold by the cord, a fraction of a cord, or in cubic feet.
Rough measurements like “ricks,” “truckloads,” “piles,” and “face cords” do not comply with Arkansas Bureau of Standards regulations that protect consumers from overpaying for firewood. The proper measurement for a unit of cut wood sold in Arkansas is defined as 128 cubic feet of firewood.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert today to make sure Arkansas consumers get the most for their money when buying firewood.
“Arkansas law protects consumers from overpaying or being scammed when buying firewood by defining precise measurements,” McDaniel said. “Consumers can protect themselves and their money by buying high-quality wood in standard units and making sure to keep a receipt after any purchase.”
To accurately measure a cord, the Bureau of Standards recommends placing the wood in a line or row, with each piece touching and parallel to each other. Make sure there are as few gaps as possible, because some disreputable vendors may line logs up loosely in order to shortchange customers.
Consumers should also be aware of what variety of wood they are purchasing. Dense woods, such as oak and hickory, produce more heat and burn longer than soft woods like pine or spruce. Newly cut green wood is not as safe and efficient as dry, seasoned wood. Higher moisture levels in new wood can create more tar and creosote buildup in chimneys, increasing the risk of a fire.
When buying wood, be sure to obtain a receipt that shows the amount and type of wood purchased, the price, and the seller’s name, address and phone number. Before burning any questionable wood, consumers with concerns or complaints should contact the Bureau of Standards at (501) 570-1159.
Stored wood should be shielded with a protective covering like a tarp to keep the wood dry and usable. Store stacked wood away from the house to prevent damage from termites and other pests.
For more information on this or other consumer issues, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982 or (501) 682-2341, or visit the Consumer Protection Division’s website at www.GotYourBackArkansas.org.