When the colder temperatures start to set in, many homeowners will turn to their fireplace, wood or pellet stoves as an additional heat source. While fireplaces can provide warmth and comfort, if you are not careful, they can also be a hazard. Keep in mind the following precautions to help ensure a safe winter season.
Keep Your Chimney Fireplaces and Wood Stoves Clean
Have your chimney, fireplace, wood or pellet stove inspected and cleaned by a licensed chimney specialist. They should be maintained annually to help ensure they are functioning safely and efficiently.
Be sure to keep the area around the hearth clear of debris, decorations and any other combustible materials.
If you have a wood burning, insert or pellet stove, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for additional guidance related to operation and venting.
Keep Fires Burning Safely
Be sure the flue is open before lighting your fire to help ensure the fireplace will vent properly. Do not close your damper until you are sure the fire is out.
When starting a fire, only use a match or commercial firelighter. Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.