Fireplace and Chimney Safety

Everyone likes a good fire this time of year. But before you light the ole yule log, make sure you make sure to read thru these tips and precautions to avoid a Christmas fire gone awry.

  1. Use care with "fire salts," which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from children.
  2. Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result, as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
  3. Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that the flue is open.
  4. Make sure your fireplace (or any heating appliance burning gas, oil, wood or coal), chimney and vents are clean and in good repair. That will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from creeping into your home. 
  5. Search for a sweep certified by the Chimney Institute of America. Prices will vary, but this is a very important task that should be left to the professionals! The safety of you and your family, as well as your home, depend on it! 

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  • by Christine Streich
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