Few things can compare to relaxing in front of your very own wood-burning fireplace, particularly during these bitterly cold winter months. By the fireplace is the perfect place to be when the wind is blowing and the snow is swirling. However, fireplaces can potentially be dangerous if they aren’t well-maintained.
At Best Firewood & Mulch, we want people throughout Chicago and the surrounding areas to enjoy their fireplaces in safety and comfort. So, we’ve prepared a quick list of the most important safety tips to follow.
4 Vital Fireplace Safety Tips
1. Never use chemical starters
You might be accustomed to using starters like kerosene to start your outdoor grill, and that’s fine for the outdoors. Indoors, these sorts of starters introduce toxic chemicals – potentially harming yourself, your family or your pets. Likewise, never use painted wood or plywood as a starter, because they’re also full of nasty chemicals you don’t want to burn in your home.
If you need a starter, just use newspaper or pine cones.
2. Always use dry, well-seasoned wood
One of the worst things you can do to a fireplace is burning young wood or wood with greater than 20% moisture content. When moist wood burns, it causes a chemical called creosote to be created. Creosote is sticky and extremely flammable. It can build up on the inside of your chimney, eventually creating a genuine fire risk.
Always get your firewood from a reputable source that ages and seasons it properly.
3. Clean your chimney at least once a year
Even if you’re burning dry seasoned wood, the inside of your chimney will still see buildup. Over time, this can start to choke off the chimney, or even cause smoke to enter your home. Be sure to call in professionals to clean it out. (Fall is usually the best time for this, prior to fireplace season.)
4. Keep branches trimmed and away from the top of your chimney
If you have trees near your home, keep an eye on their branches. If those branches are passing over the top of the chimney, they need to be trimmed back. Otherwise, they could catch fire from the heat coming off your fireplace. This is a particular danger during drier winters.
Get Firewood You Can Trust from Best Firewood & Mulch
Since 1982, Best Firewood & Mulch has been providing locally-sourced, well-aged and seasoned firewood to homes and businesses throughout the Chicago area! Call us to keep your fireplace happy!