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12 Tips for Using Your Fireplace
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12 Tips for Using Your Fireplace

Using the fireplace for the first time after the summer or fall puts you at a risk for accidental fire, so here are 12 helpful tips to make sure your fireplaces and wood stoves are fire-safe.

  1. Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
  2. Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
  3. Leave glass doors open while burning a fire. Leaving the doors open ensures that the fire receives enough air to ensure complete combustion and keeps creosote from building up in the chimney.
  4. Close glass doors when the fire is out to keep air from the chimney 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.
  5. Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.
  6. Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.
  7. 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.
  8. Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.
  9. Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home.
  10. Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.
  11. Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester.
  12. Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.
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