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Fireplace Tips & Safety

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Autumn brings brisk nights, and nothing makes a home feel cozier than a fire. Your fireplace needs regular care and cleaning to assure a safe and efficient fire. Creo­sote, a flammable, tarlike substance, accumulates in the chimney and flue and should be removed by a professional. Here are some tips for keeping your fireplace and its accessories clean throughout the season:

o Vacuum or dust the hearth area weekly to prevent dust and soot buildup.

o Do not sweep or vacuum until all the embers have been extinguished for at least 12 hours.

o Burn only seasoned, well-dried wood to minimize dangerous creosote buildup.

o Inspect the firebox, flue, and chimney annually for creosote accumulation.

o 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.

o Never use an abrasive cleanser inside the fireplace. Many leave a flammable residue.

o When cleaning your fireplace, sprinkle damp coffee grounds over the cooled ashes to keep down the dust.

Most of all, enjoy those evening firesides safely.

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