Olympia – According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), heating is the second leading cause of home fires. Take some time now to prepare for the colder season with a few tips to keep your fireplace or wood stove running efficiently and safely:
· Have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year by a professional.
· Use only newspaper and kindling wood or fire starters to start a fire. Never use flammable liquids, such as lighter fluid, kerosene, or gasoline.
· Burn only dry, seasoned wood. It is cleaner for the environment and creates less creosote buildup in the chimney.
· Keep flammable items, such as stacked wood, blankets, or other decorations, at least three feet away from the fireplace or wood stove. This includes items hanging down from a hearth above.
· Keep the doors of your wood stove closed or a metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent embers from jumping out.
For more information, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 596-3929.