Wood County Auditor Matthew Oestreich is offering tips to avoid fraud when purchasing firewood this winter season. The Weights and Measures Division of the Auditor’s Office ensures that products meet claims for actual weights and volumes, which includes the enforcement of Ohio’s laws defining units of measurement for firewood sales. The following are helpful to review before making purchases:
- Firewood is defined as “any kindlings, logs, boards, timbers or other wood, split or not split, advertised, offered for sale, or sold as solid “
- Buy firewood by the cord. Ohio law protects consumers by requiring that non packaged firewood be sold by the cord (or fractions of a cord). One “cord,” when properly stacked, should be 8 feet long by 4 feet high and 4 feet wide (128 cubic feet). It is illegal to sell firewood by any other unit of measurement, such as a rick, rack, face cord, or If a consumer believes that a seller did not comply with these rules and regulations, the person should immediately contact the seller.
- If non-packaged firewood is purchased, the seller must present the consumer with a receipt, delivery ticket, or sales invoice that includes contact information of seller and purchaser, date of delivery, quantity, quantity upon which the price is based, total price of the amount delivered, and terms and conditions of the sale.
- Citizens should inquire about the source of any firewood they buy and avoid purchasing ash logs. The Ohio Department of Agriculture has enacted a quarantine that prohibits the movement of any ash material – including firewood from areas where the emerald ash borer has been found. There is a $4,000 fine for bringing any ash tree material or firewood into Ohio from Michigan. Be aware of other firewood movement regulations in place concerning invasive species, such as the gypsy moth and Asian long-horned beetle. For more information on specific regulations, visit the Plant Pest Control website at agri.ohio.gov /plant/?div=plantpest.htm. It is always good practice to not move firewood long distances and to buy local and burn local.
- When burning firewood for heat, the State Fire Marshal advises to follow all necessary safety practices to avoid any serious problems.
“I encourage any consumers with questions concerning their firewood purchases to contact my office,” said Oestreich. “We are always available to help.” The Wood County Auditor’s Office, Division of Weights and Measures, may be reached by calling 419-354- 9150.