Home Is Where the Hearth Is

Experts offer advice on safe use of fireplaces, wood stoves

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(HealthDay News) -- Keeping your fireplace clean and running efficiently can help reduce the risk of a house fire.

The U.S. Fire Administration offers these suggestions:

  • Each year, have a certified chimney specialist clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney.
  • Make sure the hearth area is free of debris, decorations and any flammable materials.
  • While a fire is burning, always leave glass doors open to ensure the fire has enough air to prevent creosote buildup in the chimney. Close the doors when the fire has burned out.
  • If your fireplace does not have a glass door, always use a mesh screen in front of your fire.
  • Use a stovepipe thermometer to make sure that flue temperature is appropriate.
  • Always open air inlets on wood stoves and make sure they have adequate air supply.
  • Walls around fireplaces should be made with fire-resistant materials.

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