Now that the weather is starting to cool off, it’s time to start thinking of those long evenings spent in front of a crackling fire, Now is a good time to start reviewing the rules of fireplace safety so that you can spend those evenings worry free.

Keep it Smoke-free

First off, when you burn a fire and it gives off lots of smoke, there are a number of things that can be wrong. A smoky fire is a dangerous fire because it can cause health issues. The particles from smoke can get into your lungs, and this can cause a variety of health problems, the least of which is a runny nose and eyes that burn and itch. More serious issues can also develop, such as lung diseases or heart issues. Prevent a smoke filled room by making sure that you burn wood that has been properly cured – that has sat on a pallet in a dry place, loosely stacked, for at least six months.

Another way to avoid a smoke-filled room is by making sure that your dampers are open, not only when the fire is burning but until the embers are completely burned out. Having your dampers open allows the smoke to leave up your fireplace; it also helps control the flow of oxygen to the fire. It’s also a good idea to keep a window cracked to allow better air flow.

Smoke, Fire, and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Make sure that your smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors have batteries that are charged and that the detectors themselves are in working condition. It is important that you check the batteries every six months and change them once a year.

Keep the Area Clear

Another thing that it’s important to do is to keep the area clear of furniture, toys, curtains, or anything else that can easily catch fire. Don’t have rugs or other flammable items too close to the fire. All of these things could easily catch a spark that could turn into an uncontrolled blaze. And speaking of toys, never, ever leave a child unattended in a room with a burning fire. Teach your children fire safety rules, but it’s also important to tell them to not get too close to the flames, and that fire is not something to be played with.

Keep it Clean

It’s also a good idea to keep up with properly cleaning your firebox during burning season. You should keep the ashes down, cleaning them out after every fire or two. Although a slight ash base is good for a fire, too many ashes will cause a smoky fire.

The best way to keep it clean is to have your chimney professionally inspected and cleaned once a year. Chimney Sweep Plus has the equipment, the experience, and the expertise to do the job right, and that is one less thing you’ll have to think about when it comes to fire safety this fall and winter.