“When the weather outside is frightful…” and if you have a wood burning fireplace, you’re likely to be using it a lot over the coming weeks. So let’s quickly chat about some fireplace safety tips! Here are a few things to keep in mind while you are staying warm and toasty!
Fireplace Safety Tips
When it comes to fireplace safety, these are some of the things you want to keep in mind:
- Using dry, seasoned wood (dryness is more important than hard wood versus soft wood).
- Building smaller, hotter fires that burn more efficiently and produce less smoke.
- Never burn trash – it can spark a chimney fire.
- And never-ever, burn “green lumber” left over from a deck or fencing project. These types of treated woods will release carcinogens when burned.
- If possible, keep a window cracked open while the fire is burning.
- Be certain the damper or flue is open before starting a fire. Keeping the damper or flue open until the fire is out will draw smoke out of the house. The damper can be checked by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror. Do not close the damper until the embers have completely stopped burning.
- Use dry and well-aged wood. Wet or green wood causes more smoke and contributes to soot buildup in the chimney. Dried wood burns with less smoke and burns more evenly,
- Smaller pieces of wood placed on a grate burn faster and produce less smoke.
- Clean out ashes from previous fires. Levels of ash at the base of the fireplace should be kept to 1 inch or less because a thicker layer restricts the air supply to logs, resulting in more smoke.
- The chimney should be checked annually by a professional.
If you are using a wood stove, make sure you have:
- Installed a stovepipe thermometer to help monitor flue temperatures. This is a great way to monitor and adjust burning practices.
- For more fireplace safety tips check out this article!
- Stay Safe Everyone!