Fireplace Safety First
If you plan to curl up next to a cozy fireplace or wood-burning stove this winter, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
- If your fireplace has glass doors, always keep them open while a fire burns. This ensures the fire receives enough air to complete combustion. Make sure to use a metal mesh screen as well.
- Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned once a year by a chimney specialist.
- When using a wood stove, only use seasoned wood for fuel. Don’t use green wood, artificial logs or trash.
- Never wear loose-fitting clothes around an open flame. Before going to bed or leaving the house, make sure the fire is completely out and allow ashes to cool before disposal.
- Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
- Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Never empty the ash directly into a trash can. Douse and saturate them with water.