Baby, it’s cold outside—or it will be soon. Heating fires account for 36% of residential home fires in rural areas every year so before you spark up the logs, make a clean sweep using these seven crucial safety tips.
1. Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
2. Check the structure for cracks and missing mortar while clearing the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
3. Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris & cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester.
4. Choose dense wood, such as oak, to burn that has been stacked outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home.
5. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new long life smoke alarms.
6. Build small fires by placing logs at the rear of the fireplace on a metal grate, thus less creosote will buildup.
7. Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door to prevent errant embers from shooting out.