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Washington State law requires wood sellers to provide a receipt that includes the following:
The legal measure for firewood in Washington is the cord or a fraction of a cord. Sellers may not legitimately use terms such as "truckload," "face cord," "rack" or "pile." These terms have no legal definition and cannot, therefore, be used as a measure for the amount of firewood being sold. Only packaged wood, such as kindling or a very small bundle of firewood, may be sold by the cubic foot or a fraction of a cubic foot.
A cord is 128 cubic feet. To be sure you have a cord, stack the wood neatly by placing the wood in a line or a row, with individual pieces touching and parallel to each other. Make sure the wood is compact and has as few gaps as possible. Finally, measure the stack. If the width times the height times the length equals 128 cubic feet, you have a cord of firewood. If there is a problem, contact the seller immediately and before you burn any wood.
The wood should be stacked with the pieces parallel to each other. While wood stacked in a crisscross or log cabin fashion is secure and will stand freely, it does not meet the legal definition. Most likely the stack will contain less wood than one that is stacked by the legal parallel method.
Estimate a cord by visualizing a 4 ft by 8 ft space filled with wood to a height of 4 ft (4ft X 8ft X 4ft = 128 cubic feet). Most long bed pickup trucks have beds that are close to the 4 ft by 8 ft dimension.
Washington State adopts the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Handbook 130, Uniform Laws and Regulations in the areas of legal metrology and engine fuel quality as the legal method of sale in WAC 16-662.
The full version of the handbook is available on the NIST website at http://www.nist.gov/pml/wmd/pubs/handbooks.cfm or from the U.S. Government Printing Office at (202) 512-1800.
Below are some of the regulations from Handbook 130, Uniform Regulation for the Method of Sale.
22.214.171.124 Fireplace and Stove Wood Any kindling, logs, boards, timbers, or other wood, natural or processed, split or not split, advertised, offered for sale, or sold for use as fuel.
126.96.36.199 Cord The amount of wood that is contained in a space of 128 cubic feet when the wood is ranked and well stowed. For the purpose of this regulation, "ranked and well stowed" shall be construed to mean that pieces of wood are placed in a line or row, with individual pieces touching and parallel to each other, and stacked in a compact manner.
188.8.131.52 Representation A "representation" shall be construed to mean any advertisement, offering, invoice, or the like that pertains to the sale of fireplace or stove wood.
2.4.2 Identity A representation may include a declaration of identity that indicates the species group (Example: 50 percent hickory, 50 percent miscellaneous softwood). Such a representation shall indicate, within 10 percent accuracy, the percentages of each group.
2.4.3 Quantity Fireplace and stove wood shall be advertised, offered for sale and sold only by measure, using the term cord and fractional parts of a cord or the cubic meter.
(a) Packaged natural wood. - Natural wood offered for sale in packaged form in quantities less than 0.45m3, 1/8 cord or 16 cubic feet shall display the quantity in terms of cubic meters or cubic feet to include fractions.
2.4.4 Prohibition of Terms The terms "face cord," "rack," "pile," "truckload" or terms of similar import shall not be used when advertising, offering for sale, or selling wood for use as fuel.
2.4.5 Delivery Ticket or Sales Invoice A delivery ticket or sales invoice shall be presented by the seller to the purchaser whenever any nonpackaged fireplace or stove wood is sold. The delivery ticket or sales invoice shall contain at least the following information:
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