Fireplace Tips


  • Safety first: Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
  • MAKE SURE THE DAMPER IS OPEN before lighting a fire.
  • Keep the damper open until the fire is out and the ashes are cool enough to touch.
  • Avoid smoking up your apartment. Check for a down draft before lighting a fire. If cold air is coming down the chimney into the fireplace you have a down draft. To reverse a down draft place a balled up piece of newspaper in the opening to the chimney. Be sure the damper is OPEN. Light the paper on fire and when it burns up into the chimney you can light the rest of your fire.
  • since our fireplaces draw air from within the unit it is always best to have a WINDOW slightly OPEN when enjoying the fireplace.
  • Burn only seasoned or hard wood in the fireplace. This will help minimize creosote buildup in the chimney.
  • Burning small, controlled, hot fires rather than smoldering fires will also help keep creosote under control.
  • Never use highly flammable materials such as wrapping paper or gasoline in a woodstove or fireplace. These substances can create dangerous fireballs in an instant and, just like burning too much wood at once, can cause a buildup of flammable materials in your chimney.
  • Clean out the firebox at least every week when using the fireplace regularly, but leave an inch of ash in the bottom to act as insulation.  NOTE: Never use a vacuum to clean out the firebox as coals can stay hot for several days after extinguishing a fire.
  • Before removing ash, open the damper so loose ash is drawn up the chimney rather than out into the room.
  • Remove all ash during the months the fireplace is not in use.

Tips for Sure Fire Starts and Easy Burning

Burn Wise Tip Sheet

Where do you get your wood? Please add your recommendations in the comments.

Woodman Firewood

One comment on “Fireplace Tips
  1. Steve Jones says:

    I liked your tip of only burning seasoned or hardwood fires in your fireplace. My wife and I are wanting to get a fireplace for our living room and we were wondering what kind of wood we should burn. I’ll be sure to tell her that we should only burn seasoned or hardwood wood in the fireplace.

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