Few things are cozier than curling up in front of the fireplace on a chilly autumn evening. But like anything else involving flames, a fireplace can pose a safety hazard if you aren’t careful. Following some fireplace maintenance guidelines will greatly reduce your risk for a house fire.


Each time you use your fireplace, you should clear out ashes from previous fires. Never place hot ashes in a trash can, as they could combust. Only remove ashes that have fully cooled.  Always make sure that the chimney damper or flue is open when using the fireplace so that smoke can escape from the house. In addition, it is a good idea to have the chimney inspected and cleaned each year to prevent creosote buildup, which can increase the risk of a fire.


You should always keep flammable objects away from the fireplace. Even exposure to intense heat could cause objects like Christmas trees and furniture to combust. Installing a fireplace screen or glass doors can also reduce fire risk by ensuring that rogue embers don’t escape into the room.


A responsible adult should always be in the room while a fire is going. Never leave children or pets unsupervised near a fire, as they could burn themselves, even if you have installed a safety screen. It only takes a moment for a spark to get out of control. Constant supervision will ensure that you react in a timely manner if something goes wrong.

By following these safety basics, you can enjoy your fireplace without putting your property at risk. This way, you can truly relax as you spend your nights by the fire.