Hearthside Living: Keeping Your Fire in the Fireplace

Hearthside Living: Keeping Your Fire in the Fireplace

Posted in Decorating, Safety, Using Your Fireplace

Fireplace Screen Contains Fire

fireplace screen

A fireplace screen provides a decorative means of keeping sparks and ashes from coming out of your fireplace and into your house. As anyone with a wood-burning fireplace knows, flying sparks can singe carpets and leave burn marks on wooden floors. Worst-case scenario, these flying embers ignite something flammable and start a house fire. Protect your house and still enjoy the heat and atmosphere of your fire with a fireplace screen.


Fireplace screens come in a wide variety of styles and finishes to fit both your needs and your home’s décor. Some screens are a single flat panel held up by feet, while others have three panels or four or five panels. Newer designs include doors in order to easily add more wood or stir the coals a bit.

Want to learn more about the different styles of fireplace screens? Read our handy article.


Posted in Decorating, Safety, Using Your Fireplace Tagged with:

The Dangers of Chimney Fires

chimney fires

While chimneys are designed to contain heat from normal fires in a woodstove or fireplace, chimney fires can easily burn at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, damaging mortar and even starting a house fire.

chimney fire
When wood in your fireplace burns, the byproducts of the fire are released up the chimney. Smoke, water vapor, bits of unburned wood, tar, and a number of other hot materials rise up the chimney. As they rise up the cool chimney, some condense and stick to the interior of the chimney, forming creosote.

Creosote is extremely flammable and burns at very high temperatures. Small quantities are not a concern, but if allowed to accumulate, the creosote could fuel a long, hot, destructive fire. Creosote can burn at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt mortar, crack flue tiles, and damage the outside masonry. Metal flues fair only slightly better. While metal flues are designed to withstand temperatures up to 2100 degrees, damage can still occur. Metal flues that have been subject to a chimney fire must be replaced.

The real danger of chimney fires is the fire spreading to the rest of the house. As the chimney fire cracks the flue, the heat from the fire can escape the chimney and ignite flammable parts of your home. Chimney fires can easily go from a contained burn to a completely destroyed home.

What to do if you have a chimney fire:

If your chimney does catch fire, leave the house immediately and call 911 from outside the house. Do not light another fire until after your chimney has been inspected by a professional chimney sweep.

Having a chimney fire extinguisher such as Chimfex on hand is a wise investment, but once you have a chimney fire, it is too late to shop for one.


How to prevent a chimney fires:

  • Clean chimneys do not burn. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year by a certified chimney sweep.
  • Burn only seasoned firewood. Green firewood causes more creosote buildup.
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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Posted in Holidays