On a long, dark winter’s night, there’s nothing more comforting than relaxing by a bright fireplace or cozy woodstove. And with the cold snaps much of North America regularly experiences, it’s understandable if you want to offset high oil and electricity bills by increasing the use of your fireplace or woodstove.
But before you reach for those safety strike matches, consider that the U.S. Fire Administration estimates woodstoves alone are the primary cause of more than 4,000 private residence fires annually. And when you add fireplaces and faulty chimneys to that list, the Chimney Safety Institute of America reports annual average property losses in excess of $30 million.
So even if you’re in a hurry to enjoy your fireplace or stove, it’s essential to first ensure its safe operation. Read on for some best practice tips for burning logs in a fireplace or woodstove.