Princeton Capital Blog

Four Fireplace Safety Tips for the Winter

November 10th, 2011

With fireplaces and chimneys involved in 42% of home-heating fires, it is important to maintain your fireplace and use it properly during the cold winter months.

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.


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