Learning Center

Fireplace Safety Tips

Bask in the glow of fireplace safety.

fireplace with fire

Keep the home fire burning; just be sure to do it safely. Here are some tips.

  • Remember to open the flue on the fireplace before starting the fire.
  • Equip the fireplace with a metal screen to catch burning embers or shifting logs.
  • Keep combustible objects a minimum of three feet away from any fireplace.
  • If the fireplace is gas operated, be sure to move the gas valve to the "closed" position when you are not using it.
  • Never use a fireplace for grilling food or burning holiday wrappings.

Chimney safety and maintenance

  • Protect the chimney top with a spark-arrester screen. This should help keep animals out and prevent burning embers from escaping and landing on nearby combustibles or landscaping, which could ignite.
  • Have the chimney flue cleaned annually by a professional. If you live in an apartment, consult with your building management to ensure this is done properly and regularly.
  • Inspect the chimney for cracks on an annual basis. If repairs are necessary, have them performed by a reputable contractor.

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. Compliance with these recommendations does not ensure the absolute safety of your occupation, business or residence. It is the property owner's duty to warn any tenants or occupants of the property of any safety hazards that may exist.

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