Fireplaces

If your home includes a fireplace, note that it is not designed nor intended to heat the entire home. We suggest that you use small fires which will lend a sense of warmth to the room while supplementing the heat from your heating system.

Here are practical suggestions for getting the maximum benefit from your fireplace:

  1. Your home is practically airtight. Because fireplaces need a draft to function properly, you should open a nearby window about one inch before you like a fire. This is especially true if your heating system is operating at the time your fire is lighted. Failure to open a window and provide a draft could cause a downdraft and smoke may fill your home.
  2. Always use a fire grate or andirons in your fireplace to allow air to circulate around the fire.
  3. Never place a fire directly on the floor of the fire box.
  4. Be sure the damper is in the open position before you build a fire.
  5. Become familiar with the operation of the damper before you light a fire.
  6. Use firewood that is intended for a residential fireplace. The logs should not be too long for the fire box.
  7. Do not use green or water-soaked wood.
  8. Do not use construction lumber or other wood which has a high creosote or pitch content. The pitch will condense on the chimney and, in time, build up enough to become a fire hazard.
  9. Do not use pressed wood fireplace logs. Residues from the these logs can damage fireplace equipment and stain the exterior chimney cap and the surrounding cementious texture.
  10. Store wood outside as it may be a home for unwanted insects.
  11. Close glass doors or fireplace screen doors when the fire is burning.
  12. Never leave the fire unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed and when leaving home.
  13. Never use your fireplace as an incinerator to burn trash.
  14. Never burn a Christmas tree or holiday decorations in a fireplace.
  15. After the fire is completely out and the embers are cold, close the damper to prevent heat loss through the chimney.
  16. Remove residual ashes after you are certain that they are cold. Hot coals and ashes can ignite if the ashes are dumped in a garbage can or other receptacle.