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Fireplace Safety Tips

What you need to know before heating your home
Posted at 6:51 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 20:36:21-05

LAFAYETTE PARISH — The cold weather means it's going to be one of those weeks where you want to get the fireplace going. Before you do that, there's some safety tips you need to know.

Daniel Green is an expert when it comes to these tips. He tells KATC the reason why he went into the business of chimney care.

"I've been doing this businesses for 32 years," Green said. "I actually had a chimney fire as an young adult. After that is when I got into the business."

It's an experience he hopes no one else has s go through. "If you ever had a chimney fire it's very scary. it sounds like a train rushing through your house," Green said.

He now runs a business that specializes in chimney cleaning, fire-wood and tree preservation removal. He says chimney's should be cleaned and inspected by a professional before starting a fire because it could be filled with highly flammable layers of creosote.

"We're basically going to go through and we're going to sweep, or wire brush the un-burned fuel. That is the creosote that will stick to the chimney. It is un-burned fuel and it will catch on fire. That will cause a chimney fire," he said.

Green explains that it's also important to choose the right type of wood. Get a well seasoned one that has been split and processed for at least 6 months.

Green mentioned, there is a lot of debris left over from the hurricanes. However, don't use that to start a fire. The wood is still considered young. It's recommended to go where seasoned wood is sold.

"You'll have a lot less chance of building up creosote in your chimney," he said. "You would definitely want to try and have older wood. That way it's less moisture inside of the wood. The debris from the hurricane is still a bit too young so it's best to go somewhere where they sell older firewood. "

Stine Home & Yard in Broussard is among the local businesses preparing for a rush of shoppers looking to buy firewood. Experts encourage shoppers to be aware of what type of wood they purchase.

"Pinewood and also cedar wood , they burn very hot especially with the pine having sap inside of it. It's very good if you want to break you off a few pieces and start a fire with it, but not to use it as your primary source of your fire," Jason Randall with Stine said.

"You always want to use some kind of hard wood like hickory and pecan. Things of that nature will burn clean. With the Pine and Sap it burns very hot. So it can really clog up your chimney. It could possibly catch your house on fire if you had a pile of it."