Prepare Now to Use Fireplaces and Wood Stoves Safely

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.