02 Jan Fireplace Safety Tips
Sitting by the fire…wrapped in a blanket…sipping hot cocoa after a cold day can be a wonderfully relaxing thing to do. Fireplaces can make even the coldest days seem so much better once you become mesmerized with the flames. To make sure your fireplace will be as safe as possible, you will want to take proper care when maintaining it and using it. Here are some tips for you:
- Burn only hard wood, not soft wood. Softer woods like pines can leave an excessive amount of creosote in your chimney which can in turn cause chimney fires. Burn only hard, seasoned wood to prevent that creosote buildup.
- Burn dry wood, not wet wood. It may seem like common sense considering wet wood can be impossible to light. But wood that is not fully dry will produce excessive smoke which can also cause build up in your chimney.
- Keep the screen closed. Sparks and embers can fly out of the fireplace quite easily. Prevent them from setting anything on fire by keeping the screen over the front of the hearth.
- Burn your fire hot every so often. It will help reduce the build up in the chimney which will help keep chimney fires from occurring.
- Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure both are working properly by testing them. If they are not working, change the batteries and test again. If they are still not working, we suggest holding off on using your fireplace until you can have them fixed or replaced.
- Have your chimney swept regularly. You should have your chimney cleaned before and after each burning season or every six months to make sure there is no flammable debris or creosote inside.
Stay safe this winter and enjoy your fireplace!