10 Fireplace Safety Tips
If your idea of a perfect winter night involves relaxing by a warm fire, you’re in good company. Whether a fireplace is your primary way to stay warm or a supplement to your main heating system, enjoy the warmth the right way by taking the following safety measures.
1. Whether you have a wood burning or gas fireplace, get your chimney inspected annually by a certified chimney specialist.
2. Make sure the mantel and area around the hearth is clear of debris, decorations and combustible materials.
3. Keep an eye on small children when a fire is burning, and keep them away from fireplace tools. Consider installing a childproof fireplace gate.
4. Never leave a fire unattended. Remember to put it out before leaving the house or going to bed.
5. Install smoke detectors on every floor of your house as well as inside and outside of bedrooms.
6. If your wood-burning fireplace has glass doors, leave them open when burning a fire. This helps ensure that the fire receives enough air and prevents creosote — a gummy substance created during the burning process — from building up in the chimney.
7. When the glass doors are open, make sure the metal mesh screen is closed. This will help contain the embers.
8. Never start a fire with flammable liquids. Never burn trash, debris or cardboard boxes.
9. Avoid using soft, moist wood, which accelerates the buildup of creosote. Use seasoned hardwood instead.
10. If you have an unvented gas fireplace, make sure you open at least one window for air circulation.
American Home Shield is providing the information for general guidance only. Due to the general nature of the property maintenance and improvement advice in this material, neither American Home Shield Corporation, nor its licensed subsidiaries assumes any responsibility for any loss or damage which may be suffered by the use of this information.
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Ask the Experts
The guest bedroom in our new house is in desperate need of a paint touch-up, but I have no record of the paint that was used. Is there any hope for us, or do we have to repaint completely?
- Cindy, Augusta, Ga.