9 Tips for Wood-Burning Fireplace Safety

Nothing quite beats the ambiance of lighting your wood fireplace on a cold winter night. The wood crackling and the flame’s warmth is unbeatable. However, there are some important safety considerations that come with having a wood fireplace in your home. To safely enjoy it, below are our top fireplace safety tips for you and your family.

1. Check Your Smoke Alarms

First and foremost, you need to check your home’s smoke alarms. 

Pro tip: Change the batteries once a year and test them monthly to ensure you and your family’s safety.

2. Clean the Firebox

In your wood burning fireplace, the firebox is the area where the logs burn. Since ash builds up over time, clean this area about once a week during the months you use it.

Pro tip: Leave about an inch of ash after cleaning. This layer acts as insulation, allowing wood to heat faster and retain heat easier. However, during the months you aren’t using your fireplace, you should keep the firebox completely clean.

3. Check the Chimney

Even if your chimney is not due for its annual cleaning, it’s still important to check for any animal nests or blockages that could prevent smoke from escaping and cause smoke inhalation.

4. Open the Damper

Before starting your fire, you need to confirm that the damper/flue is open. You can check this by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror.

Keeping the damper open until the fire is out will help draw smoke out of your home. Be sure not to close the damper until the embers completely stop burning.

5. Crack a Window

Even with the damper open, it’s always a good idea to crack a window when enjoying your fireplace. This will allow any excess smoke to safely and efficiently escape your home. It may be chilly, but it will help you enjoy your fireplace safely.

6. Clean the Area of Flammable Items

Make sure the area around your fireplace is clean of all flammable items, such as:

  • Furniture
  • Drapes
  • Newspapers
  • Blankets, and more.

Furthermore, you should move anything that could potentially catch fire elsewhere.

7. Use Dry Wood

Wet or green wood causes more smoke and soot buildup in your chimney. However, dry wood produces less smoke and burns far more evenly.

8. Never Leave Your Fireplace Unattended

This is probably our most important tip: never leave your fireplace unattended, especially if you have young children or pets in your home. Even if you’ve already checked your smoke alarms, you should still keep a watchful eye on your fireplace to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

9. Enjoy Safely

Congratulations; you’re ready to enjoy your wood fireplace! Fireplaces are a classic home staple, and can be enjoyed safely by following these tips. Remember; safety should be your #1 priority when it comes to lighting a fireplace.

Looking to Install Your Dream Fireplace Today?

Supreme Fireplace and Hearth is here for all of your fireplace needs! If you’re dreaming of installing a cozy fireplace in your home, have an older fireplace that needs repair, or want to convert your wood-burning to gas, give us a call!

Leave a Comment