When the weather cools, nothing is quite as cozy as a warm fireplace. To ensure they can do their job safely fireplaces require maintenance and proper operation.
- Always ensure fireplaces are used in accordance with manufacturers’ directions and installed by a professional
- Make sure a one metre area around the fireplace is clear of furniture, books, newspaper and any other potentially flammable materials
- Keep small children and pets away from the fireplace
Wood burning fireplaces
- Start your fire with paper and small pieces of kindling. Don’t use accelerants such as lighter fluid as they can cause a fire to grow large and unmanageable very quickly
- Only burn well-seasoned firewood: Green wood burns cooler and causes creosote build-up faster than burning seasoned wood
- Creosote forms up on the sides of a chimney from unburned waste products from wood. If too much creosote builds up, it can easily ignite and start a fire
- Make sure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house
- Regularly clean out ashes of the fireplace. Remember, hot remnants in discarded ashes can ignite leaves, grass and trees if not disposed of correctly
- Keep a fire extinguisher close by and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use it. Inspect the extinguisher regularly to ensure it is charged
Inspecting your chimney
Over time chimneys can become damaged. In addition, problems such as cracks, faults and structural damage are not visible from the outside. Blocked flue, corroded flashing and cracked bricks can cause fires and carbon monoxide buildup.
Have your chimney inspected annually for creosote buildup, damages and obstructions such as leaves, branches or bird nests.
Airdrie Fire Department Administration