More than one-third of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances as primary heat sources in their homes which they often pair with good quality heating oils (from companies similar to https://www.romeosfuel.com/). Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the fire risks when heating with wood and solid fuels.
Every year, heating fires account for 36% of housing units fires in rural areas. Creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes is frequently the cause of these fires. That is why all home heating systems might require regular maintenance done by contacting technical experts from companies like Albert Culver Company (albertculver.com) to function safely and efficiently.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to practice the following fire safety steps to keep those home fires safely burning. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility …Fire Stops With You!
Keep Heating Systems Clean
- Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
- Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
- Leave glass doors open while burning a fire. Leaving the doors open ensures that the fire receives enough air to ensure complete combustion and keeps creosote from building up in the chimney.
- Close glass doors when the fire is out to keep air from the chimney opening from getting into the room. Most glass fireplace doors have a metal mesh screen which should be closed when the glass doors are open. This mesh screen helps keep embers from getting out of the fireplace area.
- Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.
- Make sure the furnaces are cleaned regularly and that fuel is refilled by companies such as Hollenbach Oil.
- Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.
- Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces.
- Otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.
- Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.
Safely Burn Fuels
- Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets.
- Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
- When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings. Never empty the ash directly into a trash can. Douse and saturate the ashes with water.
Protect the Outside of Your Home
- Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home. A firewood rack can be helpful for this.
- Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris. Regular cleaning should do the job.
- Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester. This traps carbon particles and can help prevent fires.
- Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents. If you cannot do it yourself, seek professional help.
Protect the Inside of Your Home
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new long life smoke alarms.
- Provide proper venting systems for all heating equipment.
- Extend all vent pipes at least three feet above the roof.
FEMA (2013, January 2) Fireplance and Home Fire Safety (http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/heating/fireplace.shtm
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