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Follow CDA guidelines when purchasing firewood

Colorado

With colder weather here, you may be thinking about using a fireplace or wood stove as a way to reduce heating costs in your home. If you are purchasing firewood, here are some guidelines from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

It is recommended you purchase firewood from a reputable source. When purchasing in bulk there are certain requirements for sellers who operate in Colorado. Colorado requires that bulk firewood sellers must provide a receipt with their name and business address as well as the amount of firewood, price, and the type of wood.

Consumers are cautioned to not purchase firewood which is advertised by terms such as "truckload," "face cord," "rick," "fireplace cord" or "pile." These terms do not allow for a purchaser to compare the value from different sources. For example, not all trucks are the same size and how it's stacked on a truck will make a difference in the quantity.

When firewood is purchased in bulk, the appropriate method of sale is by the cord or fractional cord. The amount of wood in a cord consists of a neatly stacked volume of wood which equals 128 cubic feet. A typical cord should be 4 feet wide by 4 feet high by 8 feet long, when stacked. Once a purchase is made, the buyer should stack the wood in this manner to help determine if they received the amount paid for.

Bundled firewood commonly sold at grocery or convenience stores should be sold bundled as cubic feet. Bundles must be properly labeled with net volume, wood type, and responsible party contact information. Department inspectors verify compliance at retail locations throughout Colorado.

In Colorado, the sale of firewood is under the Inspection and Consumer Services Division of the Department of Agriculture. Inspectors throughout the state investigate complaints about misrepresentation or mislabeling of firewood. If you have questions regarding a purchase of firewood, contact the Measurement Standards office of the Department of Agriculture at 303-477-4220.

To find a database of reputable firewood suppliers you can access the information on the Colorado State Forest Service website at http://csfs.colostate.edu/cowood/cfp-database.aspx. You can also call CSFS at 970-491-6303 or the Northeast Colorado office at 970-867-5610 for information.

Date: 12/10/2012



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