We’ve already covered some important reasons to get a chimney sweep. Here’s a quick recap:

  • To get rid of creosote (a highly inflammable substance)
  • To clean debris, ashes, and soot
  • To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

So once you get a chimney sweep and a fireplace inspection, because those two are also a part of guaranteeing safety for using the fireplace, it’s also important to know how to use fireplace safely and what are the best safety measures to take. Whether you have kids, pets, or if it’s just yourself in the house, fireplace safety is always a priority.

“For me, there's nothing better than curling up in my favorite blanket on a cloudy or rainy day and just knit. Especially in front of the fireplace.” - Magdalena Neuner

Chimney Cap

The cap is important to keep animals and debris outside.
The cap is important to keep animals and debris outside. Image source: Today’s Homeowner

The chimney cap is a protection device for your fireplace, covering the flue pipe and preventing rain and snow from going down there. In addition, the cap also keeps out animals and debris. Not all chimneys have a cap, but it’s important to get it installed - especially to keep animals out.

To guarantee the fireplace safety, keep in mind:

  • The chimney cap needs to be securely attached to the chimney itself
  • Cut back tree limbs near the chimney so they won’t ruin your cap during a storm

Chimney Damper

The damper also composes the flue pipe, but instead of covering it, it just seats before the flue. What it does is prevent hot air from leaving your home when the fireplace is not being used. Make sure there’s no debris getting in the way of it opening and closing, otherwise it could cause trouble.

Smoke and CO Detectors

A carbon monoxide alarm will help know when there's risk of poisoning.
A carbon monoxide alarm will help know when there’s a risk of poisoning. Image source: Wikipedia

Before the season starts, make sure all smoke detectors are working properly and with new batteries. They will make it easier to know if any fire accidents happen.

More than that,

Make sure to check all carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are also working. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that can be emitted if your chimney hasn’t been properly cleaned.

Keep a Small Fire

Small fires prevent bigger accidents.
Small fires prevent bigger accidents. Image source: Southern Living

Even if you have a big fireplace, it might be a good idea to keep a small fire.

Why is that?

Because small fires generate less smoke and create less creosote build up.

How to keep a small fire?

Use kindling instead of flammable liquids to start the fire and place the logs towards the rear of the wood-burning fireplace.

Fireplace Screen

A fireplace screen prevents kids from getting too close to the fire.
A fireplace screen prevents kids from getting too close to the fire. Image source: Homedit

Keep flammable objects such as matches, books, and plastic away from the fireplace. As well as make sure your stockings are well-attached to the mantel so they don’t end up falling into the fire.


Remember to install a fireplace screen to prevent children from throwing things into the fire, and to keep the little ones and your pets away from the fireplace.

More than that

Make sure the screen is properly installed to avoid accidents with children pulling the screen off!

General Tips

Keep everyone safe when using the fireplace by learning these tips.
Keep everyone safe when using the fireplace by learning these tips. Image source: The Lilypad Cottage

When you have children and pets in the house, you need to be careful when the fire is lit, but also remember that the fireplace area will still be hot for a while after the fire is out, so keep paying attention then.

A few more things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t leave the house or go to sleep with the fire lit
  • Don’t use water to put out the fire unless it’s an emergency
  • Avoid cleaning with chemical products since those are highly flammable
  • Get a chimney sweep before you start using the fireplace

A chimney sweep is essential, hurry to get yours done! Get a free quote from a local professional!

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