Fireplace Safety

One of the best things about living in an area with three seasons is being able to appreciate a fireplace. It keeps us warm and cosy, sets a mood, caps off the perfect day. RIS Media recently offered some safety tips to help you enjoy your fireplace wisely…

Beyond professional maintenance, it’s essential for the homeowner to take safety precautions too. Here are some of the most important:
-Never burn pine or soft wood; it generally causes extremely fast creosote buildup.
-If you have a wood stove, make sure ashes don’t build up too much. One or two inches of ash is optimal; more than that, and you should remove some.
-Never burn pressure-treated or painted wood; it can cause noxious fumes.
-Never burn any kind of trash—paper, Christmas trees, anything at all—in a wood-burning fireplace. Only use logs made for wood-burning fireplaces.
-Never burn charcoal in a wood-burning fireplace.
-Even though it’s tempting to have as big a fire as possible, never overload a fireplace or wood stove; it can cause restricted air flow and dangerously high levels of combustion.
-Use logs specifically designated for your type of fireplace. If the label on the log’s packaging doesn’t detail this clear enough (which it should), ask a representative at the store you’re buying it from.
-If you have a direct-vent fireplace, make sure that it’s underwritten by Underwriters’ Laboratories (the “UL” symbol will be prominently listed on the packaging) or by the American Gas Association (AGA).
-Play it safe. If anything looks or smells out of the ordinary while you’re operating your fireplace, call a professional for servicing.

Submitted by Minneapolis REALTOR Mary Rugani.

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