Once you’ve identified the right wood-burning fireplace or stove for your home and had it installed by Fireplaces Plus, its important to maintain that unit properly. Here are tips on preparing for a fire, maintaining a fire, and some important Do’s and Don’ts for safety.
Prepare for the Burn:
- Stock up the right fuel…seasoned wood, both hard and soft woods.
- Inspect gaskets, door seals, and the chimney annually. Clean the chimney as necessary, by a professional chimney sweep to ensure it’s clear of obstructions and creosote.
- Install a cap at the top of the chimney to avoid the possibility that debris or animals can block the chimney.
- Install both a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. (Make sure the batteries work.)
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
- Clear the area around the fireplace of furniture, books, newspaper, and other potentially flammable materials. (Three feet away is a good rule.)
Build a Proper Fire
- Clean out ashes from previous fires and open the damper before starting a new fire.
- Prepare plenty of kindling. For fireplaces, use grate and cover it with kindling or a manufactured firestarter.
- Close the firescreen and keep glass doors open while operating a fireplace (as appropriate).
- Utilize fireplace tools to tend the fire.
- Burn only dry, seasoned wood in pieces that aren’t too big for your fireplace or stove.
- Follow any specific manufacturer guidelines for your product.
DO’s and DON’Ts
- Never use gasoline or any liquid accelerant to help start a fire.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Never overload the fireplace or stove to avoid burning wood or embers tumbling out.
- Always store ashes in a non-combustible container with a tightly fitting lid and place it away from the house.
- Never burn garbage, rolled newspaper, charcoal, plastic, or chemically-treated or painted wood in the fireplace. They all produce noxious fumes that are dangerous and highly polluting. Additionally, if you have a catalytic stove, the residue from burning certain plastics may ruin the catalytic converter.
- Always make sure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Always keep small children and pets away from the fireplace.
- Never close the damper on your open fireplaces until the embers have completely stopped burning.