13 Steps on How to Use a Fireplace Safely
While a wood-burning fireplace adds warmth and comfort to a home during the colder months, safety should always be top of mind. Check out these tips to learn how to work a fireplace.
Fireplace Safety Check
Check Chimney for Cracks
Before that first fire of the season, check the chimney structure for cracks, loose bricks or missing mortar. You should also check your chimney liner for signs of deterioration. Cracks and spalling on the chimney exterior indicate chimney deterioration, so check your chimney crown or have a professional take a look.
Find a crack? Learn How to Repair Mortar Joints.
Check the Damper
Check for Creosote Buildup
Clean Out the Ashes
But you may want to keep a few ashes around to help build a fire in your fireplace.
Be aware that coals can remain hot for up to three days, which can become a fire hazard if they come in contact with flammable materials. Here are more tips on How to Prevent Home Fires.
Problems can include creosote buildup, debris in the chimney (such as birds or nests) or a closed or partially closed damper. Also, if your home is tightly sealed for energy conservation, opening a window a little bit can provide the intake air needed to make the smoke go up the chimney.
Choose the Right Wood
Not interested in wood but still want a fireplace fire? Learn how to install a gas fireplace.
Keep the Fire Small
Cutting your own wood for a fire? Follow these Chain Saw Safety Tips.