Have your fireplace
cleaned and inspected by a professional
Check your local phone book for the
name of a professional in your area.
Cleaning will remove any buildup that
could cause an accidental fire if left
untreated. The inspector should also
check the flue and firebox for damage
Keep all flammable
materials away from the fireplace.
Make sure area rugs, decor items, and
blankets are kept safely away from the
fireplace opening, while keeping all
necessary accessories close by. These
items include a poker, shovel, tongs
and the andiron that holds the logs.
For heightened safety, cover the fireplace
opening with a screen or glass doors.
This will keep burning embers from jumping
out onto the floor.
Use the proper
type of wood. A hardwood,
such as walnut, is the best kind of
wood to burn in your fireplace. Soft
woods burn too fast. Prior to starting
the fire, place kindling below the logs,
and top the logs with newspaper. Ignite
the newspaper first and the kindling
the fire smokes excessively, check for
Too much smoke could signal that the
damper is closed, the chimney is clogged,
or simply that the wood you are using
is unseasoned or wet.