Winter Safety – Operating Fireplaces and Woodstoves

Fireplace equipment must include:

  1. Fireplace screen and or operative doors that close tight for wood stoves.
  2. Fireplace tools (heat resistant gloves, poker, shovel and tongs).
  3. Metal bucket or container with proper fitting cover for ash and ember removal.
  4. Fire extinguisher (ABC type) located within 35′ of fireplace.
  5. Seasoned fire wood” (aged for 1 year)

Annual Inspection

  1. Has your Chimney been inspected or recently cleaned for use?

Operating Instructions

  1. Clear the area around the fireplace/wood stove and chimney flue.
    • Combustible material such as decorations, paper and cardboard will easily ignite
  2. Has the fireplace/wood stove been properly cleaned?
    • Ash and ember removal must be done prior to starting a fire.
    • Do not place old ashes or embers in your residence or garage. Store   outdoors in a metal container away from the structure.                                Empty after 48 hrs.
  3. Open damper.
  4. Crinkle several sheets of newspaper (black & white print) and place under log grate.
    • Does the smoke rise up the chimney?
      • Yes, light the paper under the grate.
      • No, don’t use the fireplace/wood stove.
  5. Contact a Chimney Sweep to inspect for blockage and buildup of creosote.

Additional Precautions

  • Never over load a fireplace or wood stove.
  • Do not extinguish fire with a garden hose, it may cause structural damage.
  • Consider purchasing a baby safety gate when young children or pets are present to avoid serious burns.

Chimney Fire

If you hear a loud roar within the chimney, or there are flames or sparks coming from the top of the chimney, initiate the following: Call 911 and exit your residence.

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