Fire Safety and Prevention

Fireplaces and wood burning stoves are great home heating devices that demand care and attention in their purchase, installation, and maintenance. Following these precautions can reduce the possibility of a fire or injury related to their use.

Our two most important suggestions are:

1. Have a professional check your chimney once a year.
2. Buy a fire extinguisher or five! They are your best and only real defense against a fire. If you are not sure what to buy or where to buy from, we can deliver one for you with your order and even show you how it works. These should also be maintained approximately once a year.

Over the summer there are a range of things that can happen to your chimney making it unsafe. Birds have a tendency to build nests, debris can gather in unwanted places and you may have more creosote than expected. The point is that it is worth the peace of mind knowing that you are burning safely.

In our humble opinion, Aero Furnace, Duct and Chimney Cleaning does the best job in town. Their website offers excellent information, they provide excellent service by paying attention to the finest details and communicating effectively with customers to prevent future problems and they never leave a mess.

All wood burning stoves and fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected before the heating season begins. Make sure that the door latch closes properly. Furnaces and water heaters which have flue pipes attached to the chimney of a fireplace or wood burning stove should have tight fitting joints and seams.

Fireplaces should be equipped with a tight fitting spark screen or enclosed with glass doors to stop sparks from landing on carpet or other nearby combustibles. Special retaining screens can also keep children and pets at a safe distance from the fire and so reduce the possibility of accidental burns.

Never use liquid fuel to start the fire in a fireplace or wood burning stove.

Ashes need to be thoroughly dampened, cooled, and stored in metal cans that are used solely for ash storage, not in compost piles, cartons, boxes or anything else that is combustible.

It is important to use only thoroughly dried and seasoned firewood. This will prevent or slow the buildup of creosote which is the cause of many chimney fires.

Although following these precautions should reduce your risk of a chimney fire, be aware of the signs of one and know what to do if you encounter them — a loud roar, sucking sounds, shaking pipes, hot spots on wall or chimney, or smoke in the house or apartment.

If you hear or see any of these sounds shut off the fire’s air supply, get everyone out of the house quickly, and call 911 from a neighbor’s phone.

There is something special about the feeling of warmth and cheer that surrounds gathering around the hearth on a cold winter night; take the time to make it a safe experience for you and your family.