TOP 10 WOOD BURNING TIPS FROM THE CHIMNEY SAFETY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA (CSIA)

Read Through These Tips...

To aid in the prevention of chimney fires & carbon monoxide intrusion and to help keep heating appliances and fireplaces functioning properly, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) offers the following safety tips:

  1.  Get an annual chimney check, have chimneys inspected annually & cleaned as necessary by a Certified Chimney Sweep.  This reduces the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning due to creosote buildup or obstructions in the chimney(s).

  2. Keep it clear from trees, branches, and leaves at least 15 feet away from the top of the chimney.

  3. Install a chimney cap to keep debris, water, bats and animals out of the chimney.  The #1 cause of interior chimney deterioration is the weather: Rain, snow, heat, and moisture.

  4. Choose the right fuel for burning firewood in woodstoves & fireplaces.  Choose well-seasoned wood that has been split for one year and only choose hard woods for burning.  Keep wood stored and covered in an elevated location.  Never burn Christmas trees or treated wood in your fireplace or woodstove.

  5. Correctly build firewood or fire logs at the rear of the fireplace on a supporting grate.  To start the fire, use kindling or a commercial firelighter.  Never use flammable liquids.

  6. Keep the hearth area clear of combustible material, toys, rugs, wood, etc. that may be too close to the fireplace or woodstove. This could easily catch on fire.  Furniture or other items should be kept at least 36” away from hearth, woodstoves or fireplace openings. 

  7. Use metal mesh, screens, gates in front of fireplaces or woodstoves at all times in order to catch flying sparks that could ignite or burn holes in carpets, flooring or other items close to the opening. Use a Hearth Safety Gate around woodstoves to prevent burns or other serious injuries.

  8. Install smoke carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Place detectors throughout the house on every floor especially in the attic and basement areas.  Check and change batteries in the Spring & Fall when clocks are changed for Daylight Savings Time.

  9. Never leave a fire unattended especially before turning in for the evening.  Be sure that the fire is fully extinguished and supervise children and pets closely around woodstoves and fireplaces.

  1. The CSIA recommends annual inspections performed by CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps that have earned the industry’s most respected credentials by passing an intensive examination based on Chimney Sweeping code of ethics, practice safety procedures in all work areas, fire codes, clearances and standards for the construction and maintenance of chimney and venting systems.  That Certified Chimney Sweeps have Liability and Workers Compensation insurance coverage, NCSG members & follow the NFPA 211 fire codes. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that all chimneys/flues: Fireplaces, Woodstoves, Boilers, Hot Water Heaters, Inserts, Pellet Stoves, Furnaces (Natural Gas, Oil, & Wood) are cleaned and/or inspected on an annual basis.



For more chimney, fireplace, woodstoves, furnace and pellet stove safety tips, please visit the 

Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) online at:  www.CSIA.org.

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