November 10th, 2011
Follow these four tips to make sure your fireplace is safe and won’t turn into a fire-starter:
1. Get your chimney professionally cleaned
Hire a chimney sweep to clean out the soot and debris in your chimney. The National Fire Protection Association recommends you do this once a year.
2. Burn the right kind of wood
Burn seasoned hardwoods that are dense, such as oak, that have been split and stored in a dry, high-up place. According to an MSN article, “green wood and resinous softwoods such as pine produce more creosote, a flammable byproduct of combustion that can build up in the chimney.”
3. Don’t overdo it with too many logs
A fire that is too big or too hot can cause a chimney to crack. Small fires create less smoke, and less creosote buildup as a result.
4. Use a spark-guard
Set up a spark guard to prevent embers and sparks from igniting something outside the fireplace. This is especially important when the room the fireplace is in is unoccupied. Glass fireplace doors or a mesh metal screen will do the trick.