Tag Archives: fireplace safety

Heroes and Firelight

Before I post today’s Safety Tip of the Week, I wanted to share some exciting news.

First, I am thrilled to announce that Rayna, Melinda and I will be presenting our workshop, Kick Butt Heroes: Using Martial Arts in Your Action Scenes, at the Romance Writers of America’s 31st Annual Conference in New York City June 28 – July 1, 2011. How cool is that? So if you’d like to see us having fun hitting, kicking, choking, throwing and stabbing each other, make sure you attend our workshop. ;)

If you’d like a sneak peek at some of the things we’ll cover to help you create memorable and believable action scenes, join us on March 19, 2011 for our workshop at the Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference in Iselin, NJ.

Here’s more exciting news closer to home…the ladies of Attacking the Page want to critique one of YOUR action scenes right here on the blog! So craft your kicks and polish your punches and get ready to submit your action. Details to follow next week.

Now for the Safety Tip…

A lot of people out there are complaining about the cold and snowy winter. I’m not one of them. As long as the weather isn’t causing damage or power outages, I’m content. What could be better than watching the flakes fall while snuggled up by the fireplace writing? Today’s safety tip (inspired by the warm glow of firelight) was taken from the U.S. Fire Administration website. Click here for the full article.

Heating fires account for 36% of residential home fires in rural areas every year. Often these fires are due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. All home heating systems require regular maintenance to function safely and efficiently.

Keep Fireplaces and Wood Stoves Clean

  • Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
  • Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
  • Leave glass doors open while burning a fire. Leaving the doors open ensures that the fire receives enough air to ensure complete combustion and keeps creosote from building up in the chimney.
  • Close glass doors when the fire is out to keep air from the chimney opening from getting into the room. Most glass fireplace doors have a metal mesh screen which should be closed when the glass doors are open. This mesh screen helps keep embers from getting out of the fireplace area.
  • Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.
  • Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.
  • Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces. Otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.
  • Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.

Safely Burn Fuels

  • Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup.
  • Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
  • Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
  • When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container outside your home.

Keep warm and stay safe!  Oh, and since I shared my favorite thing to do by the fire, it’s only fair that you share yours in the comments.

~KM Fawcett