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The holiday season is right around the corner which means you will be entertaining family and friends. The Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to have a warm, crackling fire available to not only add warmth to the room, but to give guests a place other than the dining room table and kitchen to congregate.

Preparing Your Fireplace

Inspection: Before you use your fireplace this fall and winter it is important to have it inspected. Not only will you want your fireplace inspected, but you will also want to have your chimney inspected. You should have your chimney cleaned prior to inspection to have any built up creosote removed, as well as any debris such as branches, foliage, or even bird’s nests that may be present. Annually inspections are recommended to ensure the safety of your home and loved ones.

Wood: Use dry, seasoned wood in your fire. Damp wood will be more difficult to keep lit and can also cause a safety concern. Wood should be stored outside and covered with a tarp to protect it from harsh weather. Keep the sides of the pile exposed to ensure air is being circulated thoroughly.

Using Your Fireplace

While your fireplace is in use you will want to take a few safety precautions. Keep the damper and glass doors (if your fireplace has glass doors) open while the fire is burning. In addition, place a spark screen in front of your fire to eliminate any sparks from flying out of the fireplace and causing a safety hazard. Keep children and pets a safe distance away from the fireplace. While fireplaces are great gathering places for adults, they are safety hazards for children and pets. Also make sure your fireplace tools are out of reach from children and are not in a place that may cause a tripping hazard. There is no better way to spoil a holiday get together than by having an accident or injury occur.

Advise guests not to throw any trash or other materials into the fireplace. Some materials can emit certain chemicals when burned that are harmful to breathe and may even make some sick.

Cleaning Your Fireplace

Once your fire is completely burned out you will want to clean your fireplace. Keep your damper open until you are 100% sure that the fire has burned out to avoid any carbon monoxide from entering your home. You will want to scoop out the ashes from your fire and dispose of them in an ash bucket. It is recommended that you use an ash bucket specifically made for the purpose of storing ashes. Do not discard the ashes until you are certain that they are no longer retaining heat. Ashes can retain heat for several days after being disposed of in the ash bucket or other container. If an ember is still hot it could come into contact with a flammable material and cause a fire.

Ed’s Woodshed offers a variety of fireplaces to choose from and will provide installation services as well. If you are in the market for a new fireplace this holiday season, then check out the selection at Ed’s Woodshed.