Learning Center

Maintain Your Chimney and Fireplace

burning fireplace against red wall

Safely enjoy the warmth they provide.

On a cold winter night, nothing makes a home cozier than a warm, friendly fire in the fireplace. Without a little “pre-fire” maintenance, though, that cozy fire could turn your home into an inferno.

Keep your home fires burning safely with these tips on chimney and fireplace use and maintenance.

  • Have your chimney or fireplace/wood burner inspected and cleaned annually.
  • Clear flammable materials around your fireplace.
  • Remove debris, branches, etc., from the area around your chimney.
  • Place a metal mesh screen in front of the fireplace to prevent sparks or embers from leaving the fireplace.
  • Burn only dry, seasoned wood to minimize flammable creosote buildup.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Never burn treated wood or debris in your fireplace.
  • Dispose of ashes in a metal container stored at least 10 feet from your home.
  • Make sure your chimney has a cap to keep animals and debris out.

These recommendations were developed using generally accepted safety standards. Compliance with these recommendations is not a guarantee that you will be in conformance with any building code, federal, state or local regulation regarding safety or fire. Check with local government for any building codes or ordinances in your area.

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