With the holidays over, do you finally have a chance to hunker down in front of the fireplace? The charm of a wood fire is undeniable, but many of us are used to a lower maintenance propane/gas fireplace. If you’re chopping wood this winter you may need to brush up on some safety tips for this old-fashioned heat source.
Remember how irresistible matches, lighters and fire are to kids. Never leave young children unattended when you’re operating your fireplace or wood stove.
Be kind to your fireplace! Burn only well seasoned logs, no cardboard, trash or green wood. Do not use accelerators like lighter fluid. Clean your chimney twice a year and visually inspect it regularly.
Buy a Class A fire extinguisher, and put it where you can find it quickly. Be sure to replace it before it expires. Store wood safely away from your wood-burning appliance to reduce fire risks.
Open the damper before you light your fire, and keep it open until the fire has burnt out and the ashes are cool.
Use a screen to keep logs and embers inside your fireplace.
Have your fire department, building inspector, stove retailer or chimney sweep ensure your stove meets WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) safety guidelines.
Installing a new stove? Place it well away from walls, furniture, and curtains, and make sure it has proper clearance, a floor pad and a ventilation system. Check with your local fire department or wood stove manual for proper clearances.
Check latches, hinges and gaskets regularly.