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Safe Burning Tips for Your Fireplace

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Having a fireplace can be one of the best ways to enjoy a cold winter night at home. However, responsible homeowners recognize that there are risks associated with burning a fire in the home. Maintaining annual inspections is an absolute necessity if you have a chimney. In order to enjoy a fireplace safely, it is important to keep a few tips in mind that will help prevent both illness and injury.

There is a specific technique that people should follow when they are burning a fire in their fireplace. Basically, the idea is to build the fire slowly and add more wood as the fire begins to heat up. Putting too much wood in the fire at once can allow it to quickly get out of control. Keep the chimney damper open whenever there is a fire burning in order to let the smoke out and keep it from coming into the home.

To ensure maximum safety and efficiency, you should pay attention to how you build your fire.

To ensure maximum safety and efficiency, you should pay attention to how you build your fire.

It is also very important to avoid putting anything into the fireplace that is not intended to go in there. For example, anything made out of plastic or glass should never, under any circumstances, be placed in the fireplace. The result can be horrible smoke and fumes as well as a dangerous blaze. Be sure to keep small children away from the blaze for their own safety but also because they may experiment with throwing different items into the fire.

In truth, the only thing that should ever be burned in the fireplace is firewood. Before going into the fire, it is important for the wood to dry for at least eight months in order to burn safely. There are some varieties of wood that tend to burn longer than others, such as white oak and beech. However, the main priority when choosing wood should always be finding firewood that is appropriately dried out for a safe fire.

Homeowners should check whether or not there is a chimney cap on their chimney. If not, it is important to have one installed as soon as possible. A chimney cap fits over the top of the chimney and prevents any foreign material from making its way in there. This could keep out anything from water and dirt to animals that may make their homes in the chimney. Foreign objects could obstruct the chimney and make it difficult for smoke to escape, which is extremely dangerous.

Of course, every home should be fitted with smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, but this is especially important when there are fires burning on a regular basis. In particular, carbon monoxide can be dangerous because it is odorless and otherwise would not be detected. Before starting a fire in the fireplace, double check all of the detectors in the home and make sure that they are in good working condition.

There is nothing better than sitting by a warm fire if the fire is burned safely. The most important thing to keep in mind is that only appropriately dried firewood should be burned in the fireplace. Start with just a small amount of firewood and add more as the fire begins to heat up rather than throwing it all in at once. Before burning the first fire of the season, make sure that there is a chimney cap on the chimney and that all of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home are working properly.