(630) 553-5995

Before Lighting a Fire, Read These Top 10 Fireplace and Chimney Safety Tips

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 2.38.48 PM

As we head into yet another deep Midwestern freeze, many of us turn to our fireplace or wood-burning stove for either a primary or secondary source of warmth in our homes. It’s no wonder, fireplaces can be a very economical way to heat the home. And who doesn’t love to relax next to a cozy fire on a cold and windy night? However, lighting a fire in your home comes with a certain amount of risk, and that’s why it’s essential to take special care when using your fireplace.

With that in mind, we thought now would be a great time to remind homeowners of these top 10 fireplace and chimney safety tips. Some of these may seem obvious, but we regularly see some of these basic safeguards ignored.

  1. Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and maintained by a certified chimney sweep before starting your first fire of the season.
  2. Clear your hearth of any debris, clutter, or decorations before starting a fire.
  3. Use only dry, seasoned wood. Never attempt to burn trash or large pieces of cardboard in your fireplace.
  4. Make sure to check the area of your chimney around your roofline to make sure there are no holes or cracks where sparks or embers can escape.
  5. Install a carbon monoxide detector nearby, and have a working smoke detector on every level of your home.
  6. Always use a fireguard in front of your fireplace to protect against sparks and hot embers that may pop out into the room.
  7. Never go to bed before ensuring all hot embers are properly extinguished. Simply pour water over your fire to extinguish completely.
  8. Never scoop out hot ashes from a fireplace.
  9. If your fireplace doesn’t have an ash pit connected to the hearth, keep ashes in a metal container at least 10 feet from the home.
  10. Always ensure your fireplace or stove receives sufficient air to allow proper burning.

Before lighting that first fire this year, make sure to call in a certified chimney sweep to also inspect the structural aspects of your fireplace and chimney. Valley Chimney Sweep & Restoration is the longest continuously certified sweep in the nation, and we serve a large portion of Chicago’s suburbs. Contact us today!

Back To Blog