Tips for safe fireplace operation, ash disposal

AP News
Posted: Dec 28, 2011 5:50 PM
Tips for safe fireplace operation, ash disposal

A fatal fire apparently caused by live embers thrown out near a Connecticut home has authorities renewing calls for safe disposal of ashes. Some fireplace safety tips:

_ Overbuilt fires can ignite creosote in the chimney, so don't use too much paper to build fires.

_ Never burn charcoal indoors; it can give off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide.

_ Keep flammable materials away from the mantel.

_ Before you go to sleep, be sure a fire is out.

_ Never break a synthetic log apart or use more than one at a time; they often burn unevenly, releasing higher levels of carbon monoxide.

_ Never close the damper with hot ashes in the fireplace; it could cause the fire to heat up and force carbon monoxide into the house.

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_ If you leave ashes in the fireplace, make sure there's a metal screen or glass partition in place.

_ If you scoop ashes, put them in a metal container and place it well away from the house. Embers can remain hot enough to start a fire as long as a day later.


Sources: U.S. Fire Administration, community fire officials