How to Prevent a Chimney Fire

  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned, as needed, by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep
  • Use only dry, seasoned hard firewood
  • Do not burn treated lumber, painted wood, trash, construction debris, cardboard, or trees
  • Newspapers may be used for starting fires, but should not be used in place of wood. Avoid sections with color print or gloss.
  • Installing the wrong doors on a factory-built fireplace is often the source of home fires. The wrong doors (i.e. doors meant for masonry fireplaces) restrict airflow on factory-built fireplaces and cause the firebox to overheat.

Fireplace Door Warnings

  • Two-sided fireplaces must be operated with both doors open or both doors closed. Operating a two-sided fireplace with one set open and one closed causes extreme heat against the closed set, which could break the glass of the fireplace doors on that side.
  • Placing the grate closer than 6” from the doors can break your fireplace door glass.

Chimney Height

If the chimney top is too close to the roof, sparks can catch nearby combustibles on fire. Chimneys should be at least 10 feet in overall height. Where it projects above the roof, the chimney should be at least 3 feet tall, and at least 2 feet higher than anything within 10 feet of it – including other buildings. Trees too close to the chimney can even affect safety.