Peat is inflammable when dried out and has been much used as a household fuel. It is not as dense as coal. A slab of peat used for fuel is known as "a peat". Its extraction has been a considerable industry in certain areas, with its own tools and terminology.
The peat extraction industry continues, particularly in providing peat as a basis for garden "compost". This use exploits its potential as a soil conditioner to which other ingredients may be added. As peat takes a very long time to develop, the industry has been criticised for large-scale destruction of a certain type of habitat.