Fireplace Safety Tips

36% of residential home fires are caused by heating fires. How safe is your fireplace? Here are some tips to keep your family protected this winter:
•Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
•Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
•Leave glass doors open so that the fire receives enough air to ensure complete combustion and keeps creosote from building up in the chimney.
•Close glass doors when the fire is out to keep air from the chimney opening from getting into the room. Most glass fireplace doors have a metal mesh screen which should be closed when the glass doors are open. This mesh screen helps keep embers from getting out of the fireplace area.
•Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.
•Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.
•Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces. Otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.
•Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.
•Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
•Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup.
•Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
•Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
•When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.
•Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
•Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container outside your home.
•Make sure there’s a smoke detector on every level of your home.
Enjoy your fireplace, but make sure you take the proper precautions to ensure your family’s safety.

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