Ten Wood-burning Fireplace Safety Tips
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:
- Use only seasoned hardwoods such as maple, oak, ash, and birch, which will burn hot and long. Green and soft woods produce more creosote.
- Check for creosote build ups. Creosote is a flammable byproduct that can build up in the chimney if wood is not burning completely.
- When building a fire, place the logs at the back of the fireplace on a metal grate.
- Install Smoke Detectors on every floor and keep a charged fire extinguisher on hand.
- The area around the hearth should be clear of decorations and debris.
Five Fireplace Safety Don’ts
- Do not use flammable liquids to start the fire; instead use kindling, or small dry twigs.
- 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.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace.
- Never leave a fire unattended. Always extinguish the fire before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Never empty ash directly into a trash can. Always allow ash to cool completely before disposal.
U.S. Fire Administration, “Fireplace and home fire safety”
DIY network, “10 tips for maintaining a wood-burning fireplace”