SPRINGFIELD, Mo – We are in the middle of the winter season, and so far, the weather hasn’t been drastically cold.
Considering that, residents in the Ozarks have whatever they use to heat their homes set to full power. If one of those methods to stay warm for you is a fireplace, you’ll want to remind yourself of these safety tips.
Lucas Bollinger, Fire Marshal for the Springfield Fire Department, says a majority of the fires they work in the winter months are somehow started by heating your home.
“Before you even fire up the fireplace or chimney, it’s probably a good idea to have a licensed professional come out there and inspect your fireplace or your furnace. That should be done once a year before you use them,” says Bollinger.
He says cleaning the chimney will get rid of any leftover residue from previous uses and make sure carbon monoxide has not gotten trapped.
Below are some tips the U.S. Fire Administration gives when handling your fireplace:
- Use a metal or heat-tempered glass screen when using your fireplace.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from your fireplace.
- Do not burn paper or cardboard.
- Put the fire out before you go to sleep or leave your home.
Bollinger says when you are done with the fireplace and are handling your ashes, there is a correct process in managing the ash.
“You don’t ever want to dispose of your used ashes in your trash can or anything. You want to put them in a metal container, seal it up and then take them at least 10 feet from your house and then let them cool for days. You can add water to them if you need to.”
For more fireplace safety tips, click here.