According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), heating is the second leading cause of home fires. Take some time now to prepare for the colder season with a few tips to keep your fireplace or wood stove running efficiently and safely:

  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year by a professional.
  • Use only newspaper and kindling wood or fire starters to start a fire.  Never use flammable liquids, such as lighter fluid, kerosene, or gasoline.
  • Burn only dry, seasoned wood.  It is cleaner for the environment and creates less creosote buildup in the chimney.
  • Keep flammable items, such as stacked wood, blankets, or other decorations, at least three feet away from the fireplace or wood stove.  This includes items hanging down from a hearth above. 
  • Keep the doors of your wood stove closed or a metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent embers from jumping out.