There’s nothing quite like having a fireplace to gather around when winter hits. However, when intentionally putting a fire in your home, it is critical to keep safety as the top priority.
In order to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide intrusion, as well as to keep heating appliances and fireplaces functioning properly, we would like to provide you with the following Wood Burning Tips from the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
1. Get annual chimney checks by a qualified professional. Having the chimney inspected annually reduces the risk of both fireplaces and carbon monoxide poisonings due to creosote buildup or obstructions.
2. Keep it clear. Be sure to check that tree branches and leaves are a minimum of 15 feet away from the top of the chimney.
3. Install a chimney cap to keep debris and animals out of the chimney.
4. Use the right fuel. For wood burning fireplaces and stoves, choose well-seasoned wood that has been split for a minimum of six months to a year and has been stored in a well covered and elevated location. Do not burn Christmas trees, treated wood or wrapping paper.
5. Build it correctly. Place fire wood at the rear of the fireplace on a supporting grate. To start the fire, use kindling or a commercial firelighter. Never use flammable liquids.
6. Keep the hearth are clear. Furniture must be a minimum of 36” away from the fireplace or stove. Combustible materials too close can easily catch fire.
7. Use a fireplace screen. The metal mesh or screen in the front of a fireplace catch flying sparks that have the potential to ignite or burn holes in the flooring.
8. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Place detectors throughout the house and check batteries in both the spring and fall. We you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time, we recommend checking your batteries.
9. Never leave a fire unattended. Before calling it a night, make sure the fire is fully extinguished. Supervise children and pets closely to avoid any injury or accidents.
10. The CSIA recommends annual inspections are performed by CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps, which have the industry’s most respected credentials and have passed an intensive examination.
If you're not sure how to properly light your wood burning fireplace, check out this video about building an upside down fire!