Fireplace Safety Tips
? Many people rely on a fireplace or wood burning stove to heat their home. Here are some tips for using your fireplace safely.
- If possible, keep a window cracked open while the fire is burning.
- Be certain the damper or flue is open before starting a fire. The damper can be checked by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror.
- Use dry and well-aged wood. Wet or green wood causes more smoke and contributes to soot buildup in the chimney. Dried wood burns with less smoke and burns more evenly,
- Clean out ashes from previous fires. Levels of ash at the base of the fireplace should be kept to 1 inch or less because a thicker layer restricts the air supply to logs, resulting in more smoke.
- The chimney should be checked annually by a professional.
- Even if the chimney is not due for cleaning, it is important to check for animal nests or other blockages that could prevent smoke from escaping.
- Safety screens should be used.
- Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of anything that is potentially flammable.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
SERVPRO of Benicia/Martinez/Southeast Vallejo is here to help with any fire or smoke damage caused by your fireplace. Give us a call at 925-372-7234