Can You Burn Plywood In A Fire Pit? Here’s The Truth!

When you have some leftover plywood from a build or from some furniture that has broken, you may start to wonder how you can use the plywood. Using the plywood in your fire pit might come to your mind. But is this safe to do?

You should never burn plywood in your fire pit. Plywood is processed wood containing strong adhesives that release toxic fumes when burned. Plywood is also usually treated to help prevent insects and rot from affecting it, adding to the toxic fumes when burned. Rather throw the plywood away.

What are the dangers to your health, home, and the environment when you burn plywood in your fire pit? What other woods are better for burning in your fire pit? Let’s find out!

Can You Use Plywood In Your Fire Pit?

Plywood is a widespread building material with many uses, but it is generally used to build houses. Plywood goes by many names, including chipboard and particleboard. It’s essential to know the alternative names of the woods you are working with to ensure your safety when using them in any way. 

Can You Burn Plywood In A Fire Pit? Here's The Truth!

So, you or your neighbors might have just completed some remodeling in your home, or you may know someone who might have just finished building their home, and you now have leftover plywood sitting around your garden. 

Now that the home is complete, you have no use for this leftover plywood, so you may be questioning what to do with it. A thought might come to mind, this thought being, why don’t I burn the leftover plywood in my fire pit? The plywood looks like it will make excellent fuel for a fire in your fire pit. After all, it’s just wood. 

Many people have thought about burning their leftover plywood, so you are not alone. However, plywood is one type of wood that you should never burn in your fire pit, or anywhere else for that matter. 

This is because plywood or particleboard is manufactured wood; it is not natural wood. This means that the wood is processed and chopped into fine pieces, and then held together by different types of glue. 

The glue used to make plywood is not non-toxic and contains some harsh chemicals that can be dangerous to burn. These chemicals, when burned, can be detrimental to your health, the health of your pets, the environment, and your home if they are burned in your fire pit. 

Plywood is also generally a treated wood. This is done so that it can withstand insects and rot. The treatment used on plywood will create even more toxic fumes when the plywood is bunt. 

It is crucial to understand the hazards of burning plywood before you decide to burn it. These harmful fumes created by burning plywood can be dangerous even when burnt outside in your fire pit, so you should never burn it. 

Let’s go through the dangers of burning plywood in more detail, so you can have a better understanding of what it could do to your health, your home, and the environment. 

The Dangers Of Burning Plywood In Fire Pits

So, burning plywood is not a great idea under any circumstances, but what are the ways in which burning plywood can harm you and your home, as well as the environment around you?

Let’s go through the dangers that burning particleboard can have on your health first. As we have mentioned, plywood is held together with high-strength adhesives. These adhesives will emit toxic gases or fumes when they are burnt. 

Can You Burn Plywood In A Fire Pit? Here's The Truth!

These fumes are carcinogenic, meaning if you inhale the fumes, this can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancers, particularly lung and throat cancer. The fumes from the treated plywood will only enhance these risks if inhaled. 

Increasing your risk of developing cancer is not something anyone wants, as this is a scary thought. However, this is not the only damage these toxic fumes can do to your health. 

These fumes can also have short-term and long-term effects on your lungs and other parts of your body, especially if you burn treated plywood. When you first breathe in the toxic fumes, you may start having trouble breathing as the fumes fill your lungs, and your breathing will become shallow. 

The fumes can also cause your eyes to start burning, and they will begin to sting. Once you have escaped the fumes, your eyes will sting for an hour or two, and your breathing may return to normal after a while. 

However, this will depend on the amount of fumes you were exposed to and for how long you were exposed to them. If you were exposed to the toxic fumes for a long time and you burnt a lot of the plywood, then your lungs could have been damaged severely. 

These fumes are also not healthy for the environment around your home and can cause the same damage to the health of the animals in your area as it will to your health. The toxins in the fumes will also damage the health of your pets that may have been nearby when the plywood was burnt. 

If you burn plywood in your fire pit and it’s close to your house, this can cause a build-up of adhesive on the part of your house that is close to the fire pit, as the adhesive will solidify again on the surface of your home once it cools down. 

This adhesive build-up on your walls or roof is a fire hazard as it’s highly flammable. This is dangerous as you could burn your house down the next time you light your fire pit in the same location. 

What Are The Best Woods For A Fire Pit

So, burning plywood in your fire pit is not a great idea, and you should rather through the plywood away when you are done with it. However, there are some great wood alternatives that you can burn in your fire pit that are safe for your health and the environment. 

These wood alternatives are hardwoods because they are better for a fire pit as they burn for longer, and they have a cleaner burn with less residue and smoke than other woods.

Here is a list of the wood alternatives you can use:

  • Hickory 
  • Birch
  • Dogwood
  • Oak 
  • Ashwood
  • The wood from fruit trees


Plywood should never be burnt, whether it’s in a fireplace or a fire pit outside. This wood is dangerous to your health, home, and the environment when it’s burned. 

If you are exposed to the fumes of burning plywood, you should seek medical attention as it can lead to some terrible side effects. Rather burn a hardwood like Oak in your fire pit as this wood burns cleaner and throw the plywood away. 


Recent Posts