The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District has provided a number of tips for keeping your home safe and warm this holiday season.
These tips include having your chimney inspected annually, having working smoke alarms on every level of your home, keeping a fire extinguisher nearby, never burning trash or using accelerants in your fireplace, installing a mesh screen cap over the top of the chimney, using a stovepipe thermometer to monitor flue temperature, and cutting away any branches hanging above the chimney vent.
Additionally, they recommend letting ashes cool completely before removing them, and keeping ashes in a metal container at least 10 feet from your home. Finally, they suggest closing the mesh screen when the glass doors are open, and to keep the air in the chimney from entering your home when finishing the fire.
Of course, there are everyday recommendations that are essential for fire safety, no matter the season. It's important to have a smoke detector in every sleeping area of your home, and also to ensure that you have fire extinguishers in your home, and keep them in working order.
If you're not sure whether you can maintain your fireplace safely, another alternative is to get an electric fireplace, or even to use a fireplace video on your television.
Especially with Spare the Air days here in the Bay Area, you'll be doing some good by eliminating wood smoke of smoggy days, too.
Follow these safety tips from Contra Costa Fire, and you can enjoy your fireplace this holiday season.