There is nothing so warm and comforting as a wood burning fireplace. The smell and the sound of wood crackling away in the hearth are instinctively satisfying. However, using a wood burning fireplace safely is important if you want to enjoy everything it has to offer while minimizing the risks fire poses. Focusing on wood burning fireplace safety tips is a necessity for the safety of your home, and the people who live in it.
5 Safety Tips For Wood Burning Fireplaces
Keep Your Chimney Clean
Having your chimney cleaned and inspected once a year is a must if you are burning wood. The byproducts of your fireplace usage can build up on the walls of your chimney and result in a fire if not regularly removed. A professional must remove this buildup, which usually consists of creosote.
Keep Glass Doors Open
You may not realize this, but the glass doors on your fireplace should only be closed when the fire is out. Keeping them closed while the fire is burning might prevent the wood you are using from burning up completely, leaving creosote to coat the sides of your chimney. The wire mesh screen is for use while the fire is burning to prevent sparks from jumping out, but only close the glass doors on your fireplace to prevent warm air escaping up the chimney.
Place Logs To The Rear
To ensure proper airflow, place the wood you are burning towards the back of your fireplace on a solid grate. This will let the air flow through the wood and out the chimney, making sure that it burns properly.
Burn Only Seasoned Wood
Seasoned wood, preferably hardwood, will burn most reliably. It will also minimize the accumulation of creosote in your chimney. Avoid burning other things in your fireplace, such as cardboard, plastic, or other trash. These can put off hazardous fumes, as well as increase buildup.
Stay With Your Fire
Everyone has heard this before, but it bears repeating. The most important wood burning fireplace safety tip is to monitor your fire. Do not leave the house or tuck in for the night while the fire is still burning. Fireplaces are safe to use, but an unattended fire can quickly lead to property damage and the loss of life.
Make certain the fire is out and the ashes are cool before you leave your home or go to bed.