What’s better on a cold night than to light a cozy fire and enjoy its warm ambiance? But before you light that first log, you need to be sure your fireplace is clean, your fire is manageable, and the area around your fireplace is safe.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Fireplace – Always make sure your fireplace is clean with no debris blocking the chimney.  Check your roof for leaves that have fallen from nearby trees that could block the chimney and cause smoke to come back into your home.  Ash or creosote should be cleaned at least once a year.  There are a number of cleaners to choose from for cleaning creosote build up.  Using a chimney cap can help keep your chimney clean and free of water damage.  It’s a good idea to have your fireplace inspected once a year by a certified chimney specialist.

Managing Your Fire –  Building  a small fire at the back of the firebox on a grate  will burn completely and produce less smoke.  Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.  Burn only seasoned dry wood to prevent creosote from being formed.  Never burn cardboard boxes or debris in your fireplace.  Glass doors should be open while your fire is burning with a mesh curtain in place. After the fire dies down, the doors can be closed to keep out cold air from the chimney.  Allow ashes to cool completely before disposing of them.  Use a metal container and douse them with water.  Never empty them into a trash can.

Make Sure the Area Around Your Fireplace is Safe – A nonflammable rug, which is available at fireplace supply stores, keeps sparks from damaging carpet or flooring.  Fireplace doors should be kept closed when the fireplace is not in use to keep small children and pets out of the firebox.  Keep flammable items away from the fireplace and make sure all drapes, furniture, or rugs are not close enough to be damaged by a spark.

Keeping these tips in mind will allow you to enjoy your fireplace for years.  Not only will your fireplace keep your home warm and cozy but you can be confident that your home will be safe as well.

Consider a firebox paint to bring the inside of your fireplace back to life! Formulated to withstand temperatures as high as 1200 degrees without cracking, peeling, or blistering

Fireplace Safety Infographic

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