How To Burn Paper Documents at Home: Different Types of Method Discussed

In 1935, Adolf Ehinger invented a new device for destroying confidential official documents. It is known as the Paper Shredder and it made the task very easy. Now, most of the official records are destroyed by shredding them in small particles using this mechanical tool.

However, things weren’t so convenient in the past. Previously, the easiest option was to burn the paper documents. Even today, many people opt to burn their official documents instead of using a paper shredder. The reason is the mere simplicity of the process.

In this article, we are going to teach you the safest procedures for flaming up large volumes of paper at home safely using different methods.


There are different methods to burn paper documents safely and effortlessly. Let’s discuss each methods to get a clear idea.


A fire pit is a stone, metal or brick structure that eases up the burning process by providing ample airflow. It fastens the combustion process and burns evenly. So there are minimal chances of having any unburned portion of your document left.

The unique advantage with a fire pit is that it keeps the fire in one place and bars it from spreading. Therefore, it has a fewer probability of an accident.


An alternative method is to dig a hole in your backyard and put some of your paper documents in the hole. Then kindle the hole with fire and constantly add more paper to keep the fire ignited. You should not give all your documents instantly because too much paper may stop the fire.

The benefit of this process is that you do not have to worry about disposing of the ashes. All you need to do is to add some soil and fill the hole as if nothing has happened.


Another simple way of burning your document is by using a grill. Especially, if you have a little stack of paper, you can put them on the cooking surface. It will burn your documents quickly. Nevertheless, you have to take out the ashes and dispose it after the process is complete.


This is suitable only when you have a few papers to burn. Lit the edge of the paper with fire using a match. Put it above the bathtub and watch it burn. It is safe because you have ready supply of water for emergency.

Make sure that the surface of your tub doesn’t have any plastic or flammable material. You need to ensure that the tub is made of cast iron.

It is less suspicious to burn paper inside the home because neighbors won’t be able to see the smoke and suspect anything. But, if the paper stack is large; this process is dangerous, may create a big smoke, and raise the fire alarm.


Dumping confidential papers can be a painful task. But you can make it a fun experience if you utilize the bonfire night to burn these papers. Just call some of your friend or family member for a bonfire party in your garden. Reserve a place to start a bonfire and burn your confidential papers.

It is fun to watch your paper getting inflamed. But, burning in such way takes a lot of time. Moreover, you might still have some portions of the papers that are not burned completely. The air may take hold of some of the paper and spread it all over the place, thus making a big mess of ashes in your garden.


You can buy premium quality burn cages to safely burn your documents. It will contain the fire in one place and the process is simple. Alternatively, you can use an incinerator bin to burn a large pile of paper.

When you burn papers using these tools, it creates a big smoke. So you may run into trouble if it is illegal to burn documents in your state.


Another alternative option is to use a drum barrel. Barrels can usually contain 55 gallons of liquid, so it can surely hold a big pile of confidential documents. It is also cheaper than a burn-cage or an incinerator bin.


Suppose you have a very large volume of documents to burn. It is difficult to burn such a huge amount of paper. Even if you manage to burn these papers, some part of it will remain as readable. Because fire can’t evenly burn a large volume of documents due to lack of airflow in a compacted volume.

You can solve the problem by using a fire log device. Soak your documents in water overnight. Then, make log paper using a fire-log which will squeeze the water out of it. Now take out this squeezed portion to burn in the coal. Note that, it will take a long time to burn these logs.


Burning associates some risk with it. So, you need to take care of several factors while burning. They are:

  • 1
    Select an appropriate location for burning. If you are burning in your garden or backyard, the place should have sufficient air-flow. But the weather should not be windy. Because it may extinguish the fire or carry the ashes outside your place.
  • 2
    Once you start the fire, you need to stay put. Do not wander around as burning can be risky. Be there until the task is done.
  • 3
    Do not put all your paper at once. Initially, ignite a small amount of paper and let them burn. Then constantly add more and more paper and allow them time to burn completely. Lighter or lighter fluid can be used to keep the fire alive. You can also use some dry papers.
  • 4
    When you are finished, cease the fire and let the place be cooled. Then carefully check the ashes. You may find that some papers are burned partially and a few pieces are still readable. If such is the case, you need to burn the paper again.
  • 5
    Dump the ashes in a safe place. Use a disposable bag to collect them and throw them in the appropriate place. Many people dig up a small hole in the ground and bury the ashes.


In many modern cities, burning in outdoor is prohibited. Check whether it is permissible in your place to burn your staffs. You probably require a permit to burn your documents in some places.

Always use protective gloves before burning. Do not scorch up the papers in front of your children or pet. It is worth mentioning that the burning place should be free from any flammable materials. Keeping a fire extinguisher or a sufficient supply of water near the area is another safety requirement.

To stop the fire from spreading uncontrollably, build a parameter of stone or brick. At any cost, do not burn plastic. Because, it gives harmful fumes upon burning and pollutes our environment. Glossy papers are coated with plastic. Therefore, it is dangerous to burn glossy papers.


Of all the processes mentioned in this article, we recommend the fire pit process, because it will complete the burning process conveniently. Furthermore, you will have no pages that need to be burned again.

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