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When will they outlaw using fireplaces?

Original post made by Irritated, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 5, 2017

The minute the weather dips, our neighbor burns wood in their fireplace. As most in Palo Alto, we have to park our cars outside due to the small houses. Smoke fills the air so on my walk into the house, my hair smells like smoke until I wash it. On a day I don't want to wash it, I have to wash it. Moreover, their smoke enters our house through our vent above our stove. And we cannot open our windows for fresh air because their smoke will fill our house. Why does anyone have the right to impede on others' health and well-being? It's pure selfishness; the smoke leaves their house and affects everyone else.

They outlawed smoking cigarettes due to the health hazard for the public, why not burning wood in fireplaces? We are supposed to be a green city.

Comments (22)

16 people like this
Posted by Yes
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 6, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Completely agree. There is no need to pollute our lungs.


27 people like this
Posted by Judgemental palo alto
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 6, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Habe your spoken to your neighbor? Interesting how in palo alto when you do something that someone else does not like, you are "selfish"


26 people like this
Posted by Selfish
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 6, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Irritated-- why are you not using bicycles and public transportation instead of a car? It's pure selfishness.


16 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 6, 2017 at 2:18 pm

May as well outlaw Christmas.


10 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 6, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Based upon the responses here, obviously we aren’t in the South. The liberal elites allow themselves to be rude and selfish.

One cannot ask someone to stop burning a fire; that’s the most ridiculous suggestion. The reason we have laws is because people are too stupid to make intelligent decisions. The solution here is to allow gas fireplaces and outlaw wood burning since it’s a public safety issue. Then, the displaced Midwesterners can still burn their fires.

Bicycling is also a safety hazard with all the commuters recklessly cutting through our city.

Public transportation is inefficient. The country needs to update their system for more people to utilize. 101 is a disaster and more people would use public transportation if it were like Europe’s systems.


24 people like this
Posted by radar
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2017 at 9:36 am

When you bought your house, did your neighbors already have a fireplace ?? Same deal as buying next to CalTrain and complaining about the noise.


26 people like this
Posted by You don't wash your hair every day?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2017 at 3:35 pm

You don't wash your hair every day?


16 people like this
Posted by Holy carcinogens and heart attacks, Batman!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2017 at 3:59 pm

We have the same problem with smoke, and an asthmatic child. The woodburning wreeks havoc with our lives in so many ways. The American Lung Association says particulate smoke is related to greater deaths by heart attack and stroke. It's not a survival necessity, and any aesthetic desires for fire can be had through a gas fireplace. We all live cheek by jowl here more and more. Woodburning in fireplaces in town should be banned.


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 7, 2017 at 7:21 pm

Since we are on the topic of smoke I have a neighbor who bought a "smoker" that requires about 8 hours of something in the smoker. Then when the top comes up to get out or check the status the wind is carrying a volume of smoke in whatever direction the wind is going - which is directly over the fence to my house. Also the BBQ which at this moment is ruining the air quality outside. And the smoke comes in the vents in the roof. If we all lived on huge properties with acreage it would not matter but that is not the case here. We need some city rules on "smoke' in whatever form it comes in. Maybe guidance for incompetent BBQ people who just do not know how to do it correctly.


8 people like this
Posted by Zero Population Growth
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 7, 2017 at 9:30 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2017 at 9:42 am

The Lake Tahoe region banned fireplaces and woodstoves years ago. It's a lot colder there with frequent power outages. The Lake Tahoe air is cleaner and people have adjusted to the fireplace ban just fine.


16 people like this
Posted by Actually
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2017 at 11:29 am

Lake Tahoe region did not ban them, they regulated that on sale of the property, the residence needs to replace the wood stove with an EPA compliant wood stove. An EPA compliant wood stove burns wood pretty completely and reduces particulate matter. This is just the annual, "ban fireplaces thread". Complaining here annually doesn't seem like it really produces the desired outcome, does it?


13 people like this
Posted by Resident 2
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2017 at 4:11 pm

The city wants to ban gas stoves also..
There are certain sauces, recipies, that can never be duplicated with an electric stove or oven. ...Ribeye in an electric oven, never! How about baba ganoush? Sorry,gotta have fire.

People have given up so many freedoms to appease liberals. When are we going to say enough is enough!


9 people like this
Posted by steve
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Oct 8, 2017 at 5:09 pm

people should be able to do as they damn well please... this is AMERICA!
if you have a problem, man up and talk to your neighbor the old-fashioned way!!

damn twenty-something computer chip wrangling 'planes are evil' elites!


4 people like this
Posted by YIMBY Rising
a resident of University South
on Oct 8, 2017 at 11:28 pm

"damn twenty-something computer chip wrangling 'planes are evil' elites!"

Evil techno elites again? I thought the planes are plain evil folks were Russians trying to stir up a little trouble in Yankeeland. It sounds like an anti American conspiracy to me. You have chip wranglers to thank for the Internet, this forum and the computer, tablet or smartphone you use to post here.

Anyways, when fireplaces are outlawed, only outlaws will have fireplaces.


13 people like this
Posted by Irritating
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 11, 2017 at 10:51 pm

@ Irritated

I guess your neighbor that uses his fireplace once in a while is small potatoes compared to air quality today.


5 people like this
Posted by Irritated
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2017 at 10:00 am

@Irritating: The smoke is worse when my neighbor burns wood. This smoke is barely noticeable in comparison and doesn't affect my hair or clothes. Maybe now you guys will understand. The neighbors get the bad smoke infiltrating their homes while the idiot is inside enjoying their fire. If anyone of you had lung cancer or asthma, you wouldn't be too pleased with smoke in your house. This is a health hazard that affects everyone and no one has the right to infringe unnecessarily on someone else's health, which is why they banned smoking cigarettes.

[Portion removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2017 at 10:10 am

Such a shame to see people bickering about fireplaces and smoke when neighbors less than a hundred miles away have no homes and we all have smoke in the air.

Perhaps a better thing would be to ban overhead powerlines which appear to be the cause of the Napa Fire Storm. When live wires fall or when they bring down trees we end up with mega problems.

Ban overhead power lines!


5 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 12, 2017 at 11:39 am

Online Name is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Tsk
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 12, 2017 at 1:51 pm

My nonsmoking dad died of lung cancer. Those here who are downplaying this issue probably wouldn’t if they had lung cancer or asthma. When it doesn’t affect you, it’s irrelevant? Where’s your empathy?


Like this comment
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 12, 2017 at 8:12 pm

Banning overhead power lines is a nice idea, it is just not economically feasible. For example. To hook up a 25 foot run in Palo Alto will cost about $5000. Provided there are not tree roots and rocks, gas lines, sewer,and drainage in the way, then it will usually cost substantially more. This will not include replacing your beautifully manicured mature landscape. Do not worry, if you do not have the money, Palo Alto will loan you the money. This will be done by adding it to your tax bill, plus interest.

Just say'in.


2 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 12, 2017 at 8:36 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

15 or so years ago the city forced homeowners like me to pay $7,000 upfront for underground wiring. They picked certain neighborhoods where we were all forced to comply or get fined. I think they sent you a list of "approved contractors" or somesuch,

As I recall, they were no help in lending you the money, letting you pay it in installments via your utility bill or any other creative financing schemes.


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