With falling temperatures and more visits from friends and family, sitting next to a warm fire can be a cozy way to spend your winter nights. But before you use your fireplace or wood stove this season, make sure you take the necessary precautions.
If you haven’t had your fireplace serviced or revisited any best practices lately, here are a few wood-burning safety tips:
Building a Safe Fire
Fireplaces should be inspected by a chimney sweep once a year, or around every 80 fires. Along with that inspection, you can also take the following safety measures:
Use a nonflammable rug to protect your carpeting or flooring.
Never light a fire without the proper tools to handle hot logs.
For log-burning fires:
Open the damper so smoke can escape, and crack a window in the room. The air will help smoke move up the chimney.
Leave the fireplace glass open to allow air in. But keep the mesh curtain closed at all times.
Never use grill-starters such as propane or charcoal. And avoid burning fresh, green wood.
Ashes are one of the biggest hazards of lighting an indoor fire. Did you know they can remain hot enough to reignite for up to three days after a fire? Even if it takes days, let the ashes cool completely before you remove them.
Precautions for Kids and Pets
If you have small children or animals in your home, put up a safety fence several feet from the fire. Even gas fireplaces covered with glass panes can cause up to third-degree burns. Do you have a raised brick fireplace? Consider foam fireplace guards for the sharp, hard edges.
Enjoy your winter fireside, and feel free to get in touch if you have more questions.