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Virginia Holiday Safety Guide: Practicing Fireplace Safety

December 20, 2013 by The Parrish Law Firm

There is nothing quite like gathering the family together to sit in front of a warm fire on Christmas Eve as Santa Claus battles the whirling snow outside. Keeping in the spirit of the season, here are some holiday fireplace safety tips to keep in mind as you’re warming your hands with the flames.

Holiday Fireplace Safety Tips

  • Burn dry wood. Dry, well-seasoned wood that is properly split is best for fire. Green wood is a major contributor to creosote.
  • Go small and hot. Smoldering fires create smoke and lead to creosote build-up, so make sure your fire is small and hot.
  • Don’t burn garbage. Glossy paper, plastic, magazines and wrappers release harmful chemicals when burned and lead to creosote, so stick to wood.
  • Don’t burn treated wood or ocean driftwood. Burning painted or treated wood like particleboard and plywood leads to creosote build-up and creates a toxic chemical cloud.
  • Use newspaper and dry kindling to start your fire. Gasoline, charcoal starter, kerosene or a propane torch should be absolutely avoided, as a fire can get out of hand quickly with these potent fuels.
  • Remove the ashes. Take out the ashes from your fireplace and keep them outside in a covered metal container to ensure they don’t become a fire hazard.
  • Keep flammable items away from the fire. Things like drapes, newspaper, furniture, and books should be kept as far away from the heat source as possible.
  • Use a screen. A fireplace screen keeps sparks and embers inside the fire and not on your rug.
  • Get fireplaces and chimneys inspected. Each year a professional should clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney.
  • Install smoke alarms. Make sure your smoke alarms are functioning properly, and have a practiced escaped plan in case of a fire.

From everyone at The Parrish Law Firm, enjoy your holidays and stay warm!

A representative of the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC researched and wrote this article with Mr. Parrish’s consent. If you have any questions regarding the legal implications of what you have just read, please send us your question by clicking here so we can have our attorney review it.

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