A fireplace and chimney safety and good practise list.
This fireplace safety and good practise list is intended to help you,
but is in no way exhaustive and obvioulsy cannot take the place of
Do not place furniture too close to your fireplace. Be aware that something might fall towards the fireplace, so put it at a safe distance with this in mind.
Keep the area around your fireplace clear of mess and debris, especially if it is flammable.
Check your chimney, especially in spring, for birds nests or other obstructions - jackdaws often try to make nests in chimneys by dropping large numbers of twigs down the chimney.
Check your chimney for cracks and other damage - if it is damaged have it repaired.
Make sure that the top of your chimney is unobstructed - sometimes trees can grow too close. If this is the case trim them back.
Always use a fireplace screen, especially if you have children. Use a nursery fireplace or fire guard for extra safety.
Don't make your fires too big - you'll waste fuel and the whole lot could fall forward.
Smoke detectors throughout your house are a good idea....
Make sure that the fire has burnt out before you go to bed.
Keep your firewood outside under cover so that it dries properly - when you have it near the fireplace, make sure that it is in a log basketor log retainer so that it can’t fall too close to the fire.
Sweep your chimney with chimney brushes and your stove with flue brushes at least once a year. If you are unsure about how this is done then obtain the services of a chimney sweep.
Use chimney cleaner regularly to reduce tar deposits.
Only burn seasoned wood. You should season green wood for at least a year. Hardwoods are generally better than softwoods.
Burn anthracite instead of household coal. Household coal is a lot dirtier than anthracite, and while acceptable in an open fire, definitely shouldn't be used in a stove.
Occasionally build a hot fire - this will help clear deposits from your chimney
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