Nearly half of all US homes have a fireplace, so chances are you have one too. But with a fireplace come several important pet-related questions, such as; are wood-burning fireplaces bad for parrots?
In general, a wood fireplace can be dangerous for your parrot if they land near or on it or if they are ingesting the smoke and fumes created by the fireplace.
In this article, we’ll cover exactly when a fireplace can be bad for your bird, as well as provide you with some safety measures you can take. This way, you and your birds can safely enjoy the fireplace!
Are Wood-Burning Fireplaces Dangerous For Parrots?
A wood fireplace isn’t inherently dangerous to a parrot, but the open fire of a wood-burning fireplace can be of danger to your bird. The smoke from the fireplace could also harm the bird if inhaled too much. Furthermore, a fireplace gets pretty hot, so your bird could be harmed by landing on it.
Just like any kind of hot element in your home (oven, stovetop, coffee maker, etc), there is an inherent danger to it for both people and animals.
Unlike the other hot spots in the house though, the entirety of the wood stove does get extremely hot and can pose a real threat to a parrot if they were to try and land on it or even fly too close to it!
Another danger to watch out for is keeping your fireplace properly heated to prevent a backdraft, which will envelop your house in smoke. That smoke is detrimental to a parrot’s health and could cause major health problems such as breathing issues, skin conditions, a rapid heart rate, cancer, and pneumonia.
Getting the fire burning hot quickly is very important to generate the proper draft in the chimney to prevent backdraft, and we will cover proper fire starting techniques in the section below!
It is very important to spend time training your parrot (or other types of flighted birds) to avoid flying close to or next to the fireplace.
With that in mind, we will cover a few ways to prevent anything from happening to your parrot while you own a wood-burning fireplace!
How To Keep Your Parrot Safe From Your Fireplace
Training your Parrot to avoid the fireplace and see it as a threat is the main way to prevent your parrot from getting hurt by a fireplace. You should also prevent downdraft or any other form of smoke accumulation.
Keeping your parrot safe and out of harm is of course of the utmost importance. Your pet is your friend, and you don’t want to see it hurt. Below are a few examples of measures to take to ensure you can enjoy both the presence of your parrot as well as your fireplace.
- Train them from landing on or near the fireplace.
- Burn only natural logs in the fireplace.
- Invest in annual chimney cleanings.
- Replace the fireplace with alternative options.
Train Them To Not Land On Or Near The Fireplace
This might seem like an obvious answer, but it is a very important concept to teach your birds. They are very smart creatures and they will stay away from danger if they can help it.
If you are afraid of them landing on the fireplace, you will need to practice training them while the fireplace is cold. This will allow them to come near it and recognize it isn’t safe to ever land on, so when you have a blazing fire in there they don’t veer off course.
Create a more appealing perch for them than the shiny components on the fireplace, like the knob on the door or a full-on bird stand.
If this isn’t possible but you want to have them in the room with the fireplace, then we recommend leaving them in their cage to prevent anything from happening to them.
Burn Only Natural Logs In The Fireplace
Avoid using Duraflame or Chimney Sweep logs inside your fireplace, since these artificial logs emit chemicals that are unsafe for your parrots.
Stick to natural logs that are very dry to prevent as much smoke build-up as possible.
Old-style wood fireplaces only burn at approximately 20% efficiency, so the less smoke that is created, the better for you and the birds!
Invest In Annual Chimney Cleanings
The best thing you can do to prevent any kind of hazards with your fireplace is to get a certified chimney sweep done on your chimney every year. They clean out the creosote built up in the chimney and help ensure the proper airflow needed for a clean-burning fire.
A side effect of soot buildup in your fireplace is a larger volume of smoke drafting back into your house which we stated the detrimental health effects it has on parrots.
Replace The Fireplace With Safer Alternatives
If you are still very concerned for your parrot’s well-being and want to try and fully limit the possibility of harm coming to your pet, then we need to look at fireplace alternatives.
- A wood-burning pellet stove. A wood-burning pellet stove is a contained system that vents out any smoke and gases created by the fireplace reducing the risk of smoke affecting your parrot. They can also be installed within an existing fireplace, making them an affordable replacement option that will still heat the home well!
- A vented gas fireplace. These fireplaces can be inserted right inside your current wood fireplace and vented out the chimney or side of the home. They are fully sealed off and can be turned off with the flip of a switch. With this style of fireplace, you could reduce how physically exposed it is to the parrots and prevent the combustion fumes and smoke from affecting them as well!
- An electric fireplace. If you are only concerned with heating specific rooms rather than your entire home, then an electric fireplace would suit your needs! They release zero emissions and are not hot to the touch aside from the burner itself.
Generally speaking, wood-burning fireplaces have the potential to harm parrots. They generate smoke that can cause a multitude of issues if a parrot ingests it, and the fireplace itself can cause burns to a parrot if they land on or near the fireplace and its implements.
Take the necessary precautions to train your parrot from going near the fireplace and do as much preventative maintenance on it as you can to avoid backdrafts and smoking them out in your home!