Burn logs, not your home, by practicing fireplace safety

Whether you use wood or gas, or maybe both, you should always keep things safe in the fireplace.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Whether you’ve got an old-fashioned wood fireplace or a new gas unit, you’ll need to check over things every year to make sure all is well and safe.

“You’ll really want to have a certified chimney sweep”, says Fireplace Stone and Patio salesman Jon Reeder. He says you should have the sweep once a year, at the very least. You should bring them around a second time if you do a lot of burning.

That’s just maintenance, though. You also need to start your fire safely and be careful about what you throw on the fire.

“I’ve actually witnessed a chimney fire happen”, says Reeder. “Somebody wanted to burn their wrapping paper. I actually saw burning balls of wrapping paper coming out of the chimney.”

That could be classified under “user error”, just like some of the problems that can rise out of the ashes. That’s meant to be taken literally, by the way, because there are lots of steps to take once you’re finished with a fire.

Reeder’s tips for finishing a fire are simple: “Adjust the airflow into that fireplace so it’s not getting so much air. You will leave your flue open, obviously, because you want that smoke to escape.”

If you’ve got a gas fireplace, it’s certainly less hands-on, so there’s less opportunity to make a mistake, but you’re under the same annual checkup schedule.

That’s a fairly extensive list, according to Reeder. “We’ll come in, do a safety check, make sure everything is operating right, do a gas check for a leak, make sure it’s venting properly, and that the glass is on properly.”

When it comes to your fireplace’s safety, most things are generally best left up to the experts, but make sure to do your part as well, and you should be safe and warm all through the coldest months of the year.

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