Ten Wood-burning Fireplace Safety Tips

Posted on: January 27th, 2014 by rgadmin

A nice wood burning fireplace will help decrease your winter heating bills and keep the house warm. But beware, heating fires account for 36% of residential home fires every year. Make sure to have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once a year. And throughout the winter, practice these 10 fireplace safety tips from Realgy Energy Services.

Five Fireplace Safety Dos:

  1. Use only seasoned hardwoods such as maple, oak, ash, and birch, which will burn hot and long. Green and soft woods produce more creosote.
  2. Check for creosote build ups. Creosote is a flammable byproduct that can build up in the chimney if wood is not burning completely.
  3. When building a fire, place the logs at the back of the fireplace on a metal grate.
  4. Install Smoke Detectors on every floor and keep a charged fire extinguisher on hand.
  5. The area around the hearth should be clear of decorations and debris.

fire place

Five Fireplace Safety Don’ts

  1. Do not use flammable liquids to start the fire; instead use kindling, or small dry twigs.
  2. Do not build the fire too big. A smaller fire will generate less smoke and creosote buildup. An overly large or hot fire could end up cracking the chimney.
  3. Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace.
  4. Never leave a fire unattended. Always extinguish the fire before leaving the house or going to bed.
  5. Never empty ash directly into a trash can. Always allow ash to cool completely before disposal.

 

Sources:

U.S. Fire Administration, “Fireplace and home fire safety

DIY network, “10 tips for maintaining a wood-burning fireplace

 

 

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