Is your Fire Place Clean?

Your fireplace needs regular care and cleaning to assure a safe and efficient fire. Creo­sote, a flammable tarlike substance that accumulates in the chimney and flue, should be removed by a professional, eliminating the worry of at least one potential fire hazard.

­Give your fireplace and its accessories routine cleaning throughout the wood-burning season to eliminate an accumulation of soot, ashes, and creosote tars.

­Here are several cleaning suggestions:

  • Vacuum or dust the hearth area weekly to prevent dust and soot buildup. Do not sweep or vacuum until all the embers have been extinguished for at least 12 hours.
  • Burn only seasoned, well-dried wood to minimize dangerous creosote buildup.
  • Inspect the firebox, flue, and chimney annually for creosote accumulation.
  • Do not use water to drown a fire unless there is an emergency. It will make a paste of the ashes, which is difficult to remove.
  • Never use an abrasive cleanser inside the fireplace. Many leave a flammable residue.
  • When cleaning your fireplace, sprinkle damp coffee grounds over the cooled ashes to keep down the dust.
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