Don't Get Burned When Buying Firewood

News Release

Contact: Andrew Stoner
(317) 383-6852

Don't get burned when buying firewood

Indianapolis - It's easy to get burned when buying firewood, especially when the buyer has received less than they bargained for, according to the Weights and Measures Division of the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH).

Firewood is sold in large amount throughout Indiana until the end of the winter heating season, but many people are buying measurements of firewood that are not defined and less than state requirements. The ISDH's Weights and Measures reminds Hoosiers that firewood must be sold in measurements of "cords" - or 128 cubic feet of firewood.

According to the ISDH, firewood sellers often try to sell their products using terms such as 'truckload," "face cord," "rack," "rick" or "pile." None of these terms, however, is an official measurement of anything meaning the buyer can get burned not ever knowing for sure how much actual firewood they are purchasing for the advertised price.

A "cord" of firewood can be stacked and measured to make sure you're getting what you pay for. For example, a "cord" of firewood when stacked could be a pile that is either:

  • 4 feet wide, 4 feet high and 8 feet long (4' x 4' x 8' = 128') or
  • 2 feet wide, 4 feet high and 16 feet long (2' x 4' x 16' = 128')

There are, of course, other ways to stack the firewood the make sure of its measurement, but its width times its height when stacked should always equal 128 cubic feet for a "cord" of firewood.

Buyers should be weary of sellers offering sub-units or portions of cords" of firewood. Firewood can only be sold in a "cord" measurement.

To protect yourself, buyers should ask for a written receipt of their firewood purchase that indicates the seller's name, address and phone number; the price, amount and kind of wood purchased; and the buyer should try to record the license plate number of the delivery vehicle.

Other tips include:

  • Take the time to measure the amount of firewood you have purchased before burning any of it;
  • Ask the seller to stack the wood out for you in a 128 cubic foot configuration (there may be a cost for this service, however);
  • Take photographs of the stack of wood if you believe you have been sold less than a "cord",
  • Contact the seller immediately with any problems you discover before burning any of the wood; and,
  • If the problem cannot be resolved, contact your local Weights and Measures official.