Don’t let home and outdoor air quality plummet alongside winter temperatures, protect your health and the environment with cleaner fireplace burning.
Following these simple, common-sense steps can prevent fireplace issues:
- Keep it clean.
Never burn trash, plastic, wrapping paper, magazines (or other colored /coated papers), stained/painted and treated wood, or chemicals in your wood burning fireplace, stove or insert. Burning these items releases toxic fumes into the air.
- Burn the right stuff.
Even items that seem custom-tailored for burning can be dangerous in a home fireplace. Holiday greenery and Christmas trees are very dry, and ignite quite fast, creating dangerous conditions including sparks and pops from tree resin. Coal and charcoal burn much hotter than wood, creating temperatures that may far exceed what your fireplace and chimney can handle. Coal burning also creates excess carbon monoxide – a colorless, odorless, and potentially deadly gas. The best things to burn in your fireplace are a mixture of seasoned hard and soft woods that provide complete combustion.
- Love your neighbor.
Build small, hot fires rather than large, smoldering ones to reduce smoke. Pay attention to where smoke and flames stray, especially in outdoor firepits.
- Be mindful of little ones.
Never allow small children or pets near a wood or gas fireplace, and if you are considering a new heating appliance and you have small children, the safest are electric fireplaces.
- Don’t accelerate it.
Never use gasoline, lighter fluid, kerosene, or other fuels to light a fire due to their potential to cause large flare ups and explosions.
- Use common sense.
When you burn, ensure no flammable materials or decorations are hanging from the mantel or were left in front of the hearth.
- Clean carefully.
Always dispose of fireplaces ashes in a metal bucket using a shovel – there may still be a live coal among the ashes. Don’t neglect annual cleaning and maintenance duties, including a professional safety inspection.
- Be prepared.
Keep basic fire safety equipment on-hand, accessible, and in working order. This includes a type ABC fire extinguisher, working carbon monoxide detector(s), screen that completely covers the wood fireplace opening, and spark arrester atop the chimney.
Ensure the upcoming winter is a safe and healthy one. Practice cleaner fireplace burning. Schedule your annual fireplace inspection or chimney cleaning with Fireplace Warehouse ETC today.