December 4, 2017  10 Fireplace Safety Tips

‘Tis the season for a cozy, roaring fire in your fireplace! So, it’s important to make sure that your fireplace is clean and safe before you light that first log.  

Here are 10 easy tips to follow so that you and your family can safely enjoy your fireplace all winter long:


  • Consider installing a fireplace cap over the chimney with a wire mesh screen.  This will help to keep small animals out, and will help keep debris from blocking the chimney and creating a fire hazard.
  • Get your chimney swept at least every other year. However, if you tend to enjoy having fires more than once a week, you may want to get it swept every year.  While the chimney sweep is there, ask him or her to inspect the chimney (inside and out) for cracks, loose bricks, etc.


  • Never use liquid fuel or charcoal in a fireplace.  Stick with kindling. Also, be sure to not overload the fireplace with fuel, as a smaller and more manageable fire is a safer fire.
  • Always use a spark guard.  If you open the glass doors while the fire is burning, be sure to keep the screen closed to keep sparks from flying into the room.  Alternatively, if your fireplace doesn’t have glass doors, be sure to always use a stand-alone screen to keep sparks inside the fireplace.
  • Open a window in the room while the fire is burning,to keep smoke from building up in your house.
  • Build the fire in the back of the fireplace, on a metal grate.
  • Never ever leave a fire unattended if there are children present in the home.  And don’t allow children to play around the fire or throw things into the fire.
  • Wait at least 3 days to remove ashes from the fireplace, as that is the length of time that embers can remain active.  Also be sure to keep the damper open when you are removing the ashes, and store ashes in a metal container, away from combustible materials.
  • Keep flammable materials, such as pillows, furniture and papers, far away from the fireplace.  Be sure that the Christmas tree is a safe enough distance from the fire, as well as any wrapped presents under the tree.
  • Always make sure the fire is completely, 100% out before retiring for the night or leaving the house.

by See Jane Drill, Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved