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  • Using Caution with Outdoor Fireplaces

    Using Caution with Outdoor Fireplaces

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    I just read a short article about a house fire in New York State. It appears to have started in the early morning hours as a result of an outdoor fireplace although the investigation isn’t finished yet. ALWAYS use caution with outdoor fireplaces, firepits and campfires. Just because a fireplace may be built of brick and is outside of your home doesn’t mean it couldn’t lead to a fire.

    Never start a fire on a windy day or when winds are predicted. Sparks from the fire can travel some distance and this time of year it can easily ignite piles of leaves or debris from yard clean-ups.

    Don’t just walk away from hot coals in your outside fireplace. Make sure that everything is contained before you turn in for the night.

    Have your outside fireplace flue inspected annually and cleaned if needed. Just because the fireplace is outside, a flue fire can still occur. This can be just as dangerous because it can throw sparks and the temperatures can rise rapidly to dangerous levels.

    If you have a chiminea or a portable prefabricated firepit make absolutely sure it is on a UL Listed heat-proof pad. Fires can start on decks as a result of high-temperatures, rolling/fallen logs or again, traveling sparks. just because the product photo may show it on a deck doesn’t mean it should be used there. Check with your city hall, county seat or local fire department to see if there are any codes or restrictions in regards to location and use of your outdoor fireplace/firepit/campfire.

    Most important of all, always keep children safe around fires, and never leave your outdoor fireplace unattended when there are flames or live coals. Be safe. Be smart. Enjoy your fireplace.

    Posted by Karen Stickels Lamansky, Author of Design Ideas for Fireplaces, Published by Creative Homeowner Press.

    Copyright 2010 Lindemann Chimney Service

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