Happy New Year!
With the holiday season in full swing, a lot of people like to have a cozy fire burning in the fireplace. The warmth radiating off of the fireplace is ideal for this time of year. Make sure the surrounding area is cleared of flammable items, and debris. The heat from the fire can melt plastics and cause them to combust.
Here are a few tips to mitigate the risks of having a fire inside your fireplace:
1. Clean the Chimney.
Hire a certified chimney sweep to inspect the masonry, flue liner, chimney cap, and venting system. A good place to start is the Chimney Safety Institute of America (csia.org).
2. Inspect Your Gear.
Some fireplaces have a mesh screen, make sure the screen is intact. Inspect the other components of the fireplace to make sure there are no signs of wear and tear.
3. Use Dry Wood.
Burn dried wood. Avoid burning green or wet wood, which cause extra smoke and sot build up. Keep firewood covered if stored outside, to keep it dry.
4. Warm The Chimney.
Make sure your flue is warm. If the flue is cold, it will not vent properly, and can cause a down draft that will push in toxic smoke from the fire into your house.
5. Avoid Burning Garbage.
The fireplace is not a garbage bin, toxic chemicals and fume can be emitted from garbage, and cause harmful effects. Only burn clean wood.
Thanks for reading our tips. Check your air quality forecast before you burn at airnow.gov. If the air quality is poor, you may want to reconsider having a fire.