There are few things better than sitting next to a cozy fire when the cooler temperatures settle in. Before throwing another log on the fire, it’s important to know that your fireplace is working under safe conditions. Here are a few steps you should take to ensure your fall fire doesn’t turn into a holiday hazard.
1. Hire a chimney sweep. The National Fire Protection Association recommends clearing your chimney of soot and debris once a year.
2. Check chimney structure for loose bricks, missing mortar and cracks. Chimney liners should also be checked for any wear or deterioration.
3. Cap the chimney. You want the smoke going out without the critters and rain coming in.
4. Burn seasoned hardwoods. Make sure to burn split, seasoned hardwoods like oak, ash, and maple. Hardwoods that have been seasoned produce less creosote, a flammable by-product of combustion that can build up in the chimney.
5. Keep it small. Fires that are too large or get too hot could potentially crack the chimney.
6. Play it safe. Use a spark guard to prevent embers from shooting out of the fireplace.
Hope everyone stays warm this winter!