With fall upon us and winter quickly approaching, many are looking forward to fireplace season. Whether for the warmth and heat or the ambiance of the dancing flames on a chilly day, fireplaces are a welcome part of any home—but it's important to operate them safely.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireplaces are the cause of nearly one-third of all home fires involving heating equipment. Here are some important fireplace safety tips.
A common cause of chimney fires is buildup of creosote, a flammable residue that sticks to the walls of chimneys. Have your chimney cleaned annually by a certified chimney sweep to remove creosote, and be sure it is also inspected to look for loose mortar and bricks, cracks in the chimney or liner, and other problems.
Make sure your chimney is fitted with a wire mesh cap to keep out rain, debris, birds, and animals.
Only burn dry, seasoned hardwood as green (wet) wood and softwoods will produce more creosote buildup. Be sure to follow any instructions provided with manufactured fireplaces.
Have fire and carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home, and especially in rooms with fireplaces.
We hope you have a wonderful, warm, and safe heating season!