As our weather begins to cool and we enter Fall, we encourage you to make sure your fireplace is a safe and enjoyable heating source by following these simple steps:
- Have your chimney inspected annually by a licensed chimney sweep. A professional chimney sweep is able to remove the hazardous accumulation of combustible creosote created by burning wood; remove the soot build-up produced by coal or oil; and get rid of birds, mice and squirrel nests, leaves and other fallen debris that may be blocking your chimney. A reputable chimney sweep may also notice potentially dangerous structural problems with your chimney such as breaks or cracks in the flue.
- Use seasoned or cured wood only. Wood that is seasoned for at least three to six months after splitting will produce a hot fire with less of a creosote release.
- Never burn charcoal in your fireplace. Charcoal produces an odorless and deadly gas called carbon monoxide. Keep charcoal outside!
- Use a metal screen in front of your fireplace to keep burning embers from popping out onto the floor.
- Keep flammable items, such as decorative floral arrangements, off of your mantel and hearth.
- Extinguish the fire in the fireplace completely before leaving the room or going to sleep. Remember to keep the damper open until the ashes are completely cold.
- Dispose of your ashes in a metal container with a lid! Let the ashes cool for at least one week before dumping. Place ashes on a non-flammable surface, away from decks and siding while they are cooling.
- Always make sure you have working smoke alarms on each level of your home, outside of sleeping areas, and in each room used for sleep.
Thank you for doing your part to stay warm, dry and fire safe!