Get an annual chimney check. Have chimneys inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary, by a qualified professional chimney service technician. This reduces the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisonings due to cresote build up or obstructions in the chimneys
Install a chimney cap to keep debris, animals, rain and snow out of the chimney.
Choose the right fuel. For burning firewood in wood stoves or fireplaces, choose well seasoned wood that has been split for a minimum of six months – one year and stored in a covered and elevated location.
Never burn Christmas trees or treated wood in your fireplace or wood stove.
Build it right. Place firewood or fire logs at the rear of the fireplace on a supporting grate. To start the fire, use kindling or a commercial firelighter.
Never use flammable liquids.
Use a fireplace screen. Use metal mesh or a screen in front of the fireplace to catch flying sparks that could ignite or burn holes in the carpet or flooring.
Keep the hearth area clear. Combustible material too close to the fireplace, or to a wood stove, could easily catch fire. Keep furniture at least 36″ away from the hearth.
Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Place detectors throughout the house and check batteries in the spring and fall. When you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time, remember to check your batteries.
Never leave a fire unattended. Before turning in for the evening, be sure that the fire is fully extinguished.
Supervise children and pets closely around woodstoves and fireplaces.