You may think that all you need to do is add some kindling with a couple of logs to your fireplace and light a match, and voila you have a fire. However, it is a little more difficult than that. There are a few rules that you should follow to ensure that you are building a safe fire while still keeping warm.

Here are 9 rules to follow for a perfectly safe fire:

  1. Burn Seasoned Firewood: You should always burn seasoned firewood in your fires instead of garbage, wrapping paper, cardboard, painted wood, or green wood. Seasoned wood will burn clean, while the other stuff will create a lot of smoke and creosote.
  2. Keep the Surrounding Area Clear: The area around your fireplace should be clear of rugs, decorations, blankets, newspapers, toys, and more. Sparks can travel outside the fireplace quickly and these items can all catch on fire.
  3. Take Safety Precautions: We recommend installing both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors inside your home, so that you know when danger is lurking. You should also keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case a stray ember does catch something on fire.
  4. Keep Your Fire a Moderate Size: Small fires can smolder and create a lot of smoke, while a really large fire can get too hot. Therefore, we recommend building a moderate fire that provides enough heat without excessive smoke.
  5. Use Proper Kindling: The kindling that you use should only be used as that and not as the main firewood. Small sticks work well, and remember to never to use gasoline or lighter fluid to start a fire.
  6. Keep Smoke to a Minimum: You want to keep as much smoke from entering your home as possible, so make sure that you have your damper open and have built a proper fire.
  7. Utilize Your Glass Doors or Screens: Your glass doors should be open when you have a fire burning and then closed when the fire is out. Your screens on the other hand should be closed when you have a fire burning, because that screen will catch any embers as they begin to fly away from the fire.
  8. Never Let Your Fire Smolder: You should never let your fire smolder overnight or when you are not home. Those types of fires do not produce any heat, but they do produce a lot of smoke.
  9. Properly Dispose of Your Ashes: After a fire or two, the ashes in your fireplace will begin to build up, and you will need to remove them before you can build another fire. To properly remove the ashes, you will want to shovel them up and place them in a metal container. The ashes can stay hot for many days, so they can easily start a new fire if they are placed in anything else.

If you follow these nine rules, you will be able to easily build a safe fire that you can sit by during the winter months. If you have any questions about any of these rules, please feel free to give us a call for some advice.

Fireplace Safety and Chimney Inspections in Drexel Hill

We have two CSIA Certified chimney sweeps standing by to assist you with your chimney needs. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection or cleaning. We provide chimney services throughout the Main Line region.