A fireplace can bring warmth and enjoyment to your home. Nothing beats laying around the soft glow of a fire with family. However, although a fireplace can bring enjoyment to your home, you must also remember that your fireplace is an appliance and it can be hazardous if not properly operated. At Leonard & Sons, we value your families safety above everything else. That is why we want to share some fire safety tips with you.

Who should operate a fireplace?

First and foremost, only let an adult that knows how to operate your fireplace start a fire. Young children should not operate your fireplace and they need to be told that starting fires is a dangerous thing that only adults should do.

Avoid Smoke

Smoke inhalation can be very bad for your respiratory system. This is especially true for younger children and the elderly. To avoid smoke from entering your home you need to be sure of a couple things before you start your fire. First, check for any blockages in your chimney. Blockages will interrupt your home’s airflow and block smoke from escaping your fireplace. Next, be sure your damper is all the way open, allowing air to move freely in your chimney. Finally, use high quality, seasoned wood in your fireplace. Wet wood will create more smoke and may overwhelm your chimney. Never burn fuels that your fireplace isn’t designed to burn such as cardboard, oil, paper or gasoline.

Make Sure You have Enough Clearance

Your fireplace can get pretty warm. That’s why it is important to keep combustibles at least 3 feet away from the opening of your fireplace. If you have any cloth, wood, paper or other decorations this close to your fireplace, they need to be moved out of that 3-foot range.

Know Your Hot Spots

If you have a fireplace that has a metal screen or a glass door, you need to let everyone, especially young children, know that these items are hot. Touching these items while a fire is still burning or a while after it’s done burning can cause serious and painful injuries. Never leave your fireplace unattended if there is a fire burning. You will also want to watch your fireplace for a while afterward to be sure that the fire is all the way out.


One of the most important things you can do to assure a safe fireplace is to have your chimney inspected annually by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney technician, A CSIA-certified technician, like the ones at Leonard & Sons, will be able to check your chimney for blockages, cracks, creosote buildup, or any other potential safety concerns. If you have chimney safety concerns, don’t hesitate and call Leonard & Sons today at 847-658-7659 or schedule an appointment online today to meet with one of our CSIA-certified technicians.