Safety Tips for Igniting a New Fireplace for the First Time

fireplace with flame lit after being ignited for first time with safety tips and professional installation and inspection by new england hearth and home

How to Safely Ignite a New Gas, Wood-Burning, & Electric Fireplace for the First Time

When igniting a fireplace for the first time, it is important to take certain safety precautions to ensure the safety of your home and those around you. Since it has never been lit before, it does not yet have a build-up of protective soot layers that help prevent fires and carbon monoxide leaks. By properly clearing the area around your hearth, finding the right fuel type, scheduling a professional inspection, and other top tips, you can minimize these risks and simply enjoy the warmth of your new fireplace. In this blog, we will discuss how these steps can make all the difference in preventing accidents and keeping your home safe.

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Are New Fireplaces at Higher Risk for Accidents than Lived-In Ones?

When comparing the safety of new and used fireplaces, newer installations tend to be at a higher risk for accidents. Over time, soot and creosote can build up, acting as a barrier that prevents fire from spreading to other parts of the house. Since new fireplaces do not have this layer yet, it is important to take further precautions before using them for the first time.

Schedule a Professional Inspection Before Using a New Fireplace

Having a professional perform a full inspection of your fireplace before using it for the first time can help identify any potential hazards and confirm that all parts are in working order. During this inspection, a certified professional will check for any manufacturer errors, proper ventilation, loose valves, and other important factors that could lead to accidents. When you get your fireplace installed by New England Hearth & Home, we inspect your entire new hearth before and after placing it into your home. We test everything, from the vent pipes to the gas pressure, to give you peace of mind that your fireplace is safe and ready to be used. To learn more about our services, call 781-562-0771 or submit an online service request.

Find the Best Fuel Type

Using the wrong fuel type can cause your new fireplace to malfunction or become damaged. Before using your fireplace, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for fuel types. Gas fireplaces can use either natural gas or propane while wood-burning fireplaces require seasoned hardwood logs. Depending on the make, model, size, and location of your appliance, there may be a better choice over another. If you are not sure which to choose, contact a professional at New England Hearth & Home for assistance.

Avoid Overcrowding the Space Around Your New Fireplace

The mantle of your new fireplace may be tempting to place decorations or televisions on. Although it may be a nice design touch for your home, this can also be dangerous when you are not familiar with your new hearth. It is important to make sure there are at least three feet of clear space around your fireplace so that no flammable objects come in contact with the flames or hot surfaces. This includes furniture, drapes, and anything else that could catch fire. Over time, as you become more accustomed to the noises, scents, flame size, and temperature, you may be comfortable adding more decorations to the space. In this case, it is still important to not block the doors and venting components.

How Long Can You Run a Fireplace When Using It for the First Time?

When using your fireplace for the first time, it is important to limit how long you run it. Keeping it on for extended periods of time can cause the unit to overheat, which could potentially be a fire hazard. To prevent this, it is recommended to only run your fireplace for 30 minutes at a time when first using it. This gives the unit enough time to warm up and allows you to keep a close eye on it.

Schedule a New Fireplace Installation or Inspection with New England Hearth & Home in Canton, MA

At New England Hearth & Home, we offer professional fireplace installations, inspections, replacements, and repairs. From the moment you enter our showroom, our team will guide you through each step to ensure the safety and comfort of your home. After installing your new fireplace, we also provide annual inspections and routine maintenance services to keep it running as good as day one for years to come. To learn more and get a free quote, call us at 781-562-0771 or submit an online request form!

How to Dispose of Fireplace Ash & Soot

cleaning out fireplace ash and soot to keep hearth and home safe from smoke buildup with safety tips and proper disposal throw away

How & Where to Properly Dispose Ash from Wood-Burning Fireplaces

While wood-burning fireplaces can add warmth and ambiance to your home, they also require routine cleaning and maintenance to keep them running like new for years to come. Part of keeping your fireplace in top condition is regularly clearing out the ash and residue left from burning logs. If this ash builds up, it can cause smoke to fill your home and release harmful toxins into the air. As important as cleaning out this ash, it is equally important to dispose of it to avoid any potential hazards properly. In this blog, we will discuss how often and where you should dispose of fireplace ash to keep your home safe and your fireplace functioning at its best.

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Importance of Routine Cleaning & Maintenance for Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Although wood-burning can improve the ambiance and value of your home, the key to taking advantage of these benefits is to keep your hearth in good working condition. This includes annual inspections, timely repairs for any damages, and routine cleaning. As your logs burn, they are reduced to piles and specks of soot. Over time, these soot particles can build up and block airflow through your fireplace. This eventually leads to smoke being directed into your home rather than through the chimney. Ash is also a harmful toxin for humans and pets to inhale. Cleaning out the ash regularly is essential to protect your loved ones and keep your home smoke-free.

How Often Should You Clean Out Fireplace Ash?

You should clean out any remaining soot and residue whenever you use your wood-burning fireplace. This will keep the debris from building up and creating potential hazards. In addition, it is recommended to perform a thorough deep clean of the entire hearth once a week. This includes wiping down the glass doors, replacing rotted or worn-down logs, and vacuuming the surrounding area.

Where Should You Throw Away Fireplace Soot & Ash?

Due to the harmful toxins that ash and soot can release into the air, it is essential to dispose of them properly. If you are quick to place them into your everyday trash, they may still be able to get into the air. Before throwing them away, wait until the ash is cool to the touch. Then, transfer it into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. This will prevent any remaining ash from being dispersed into your home or neighborhood. Once contained, you can safely dispose of the container in your outdoor or garage trash bin.

Do Professional Fireplace Companies Clean Out Ash During Annual Inspections?

At New England Hearth & Home, we not only provide top-notch fireplace installations and repairs, but we also offer annual inspections and routine maintenance to keep your home safe. During our inspection, our skilled technicians will not only check for any potential damages but also clean out any debris and ash that may have built up in your fireplace. Many homeowners quickly clean out the main ashtray, leaving soot and debris in other hard-to-reach areas. Our professional services ensure that your fireplace is completely clean and in top condition for you to enjoy.

Contact New England Hearth & Home in Canton, MA for Wood-Burning Fireplace Installations, Repairs, Cleanings, & Inspections

If you are considering adding a new fireplace to your home or need your current wood-burning hearth repaired, cleaned, or inspected, we are here to help. Based in Canton, Massachusetts, we offer our services to homeowners throughout the area, keeping their homes warm, safe, and efficient. To learn more about our variety of professional fireplace services and make a service request, fill out our online form or call us at 781-562-0771.

Safety Tips for Hanging Stockings from Fireplaces

christmas stockings hanging from fireplace in winter for holiday festive decor season safely from fireplace to prevent fires and keep home safe with safety tips

Fireplace Safety: Tips for Hanging Christmas Stockings & Decorations

As the holidays are right around the corner, many homeowners are beginning to decorate their homes to match the season’s festive spirit. While the tree is often the main centerpiece, tinsel, lights, and stockings are also staple pieces for many households. Christmas stockings hanging above the fireplace have become a tradition, but as they can be made of flammable material, it is important to follow safety precautions. In this blog, we will discuss the best tips for hanging Christmas stockings and decorations from your fireplace to help prevent fires and keep your home safe.

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Is It Safe to Hang Christmas Stockings from the Fireplace?

Seeing stockings hanging above the fireplace is a classic image of the holiday season. Illumined by the warm glow of the fire, it is a classic scene many of us have grown up with. However, it is important to know that hanging stockings from the fireplace can pose a serious fire hazard if not done properly. As most stockings are made of flammable materials like cotton or polyester, they can easily catch fire if they come into direct contact with the flames. Hanging stockings from your fireplace can be safe when done with caution, and the right safety measures are put in place.

Can You Hang Stockings from Brick Fireplace Mantles?

If your fireplace mantle is made of bricks and mortar, nailing or screwing hooks into it can weaken the structure and cause bricks to become loose. Opting for adhesive hooks or velcro strips that can easily be removed without any damage is recommended.

Top Safety Tips for Hanging Christmas Stockings from Fireplace

When you are ready to hang your Christmas stockings from the fireplace, it is important to follow all safety precautions to avoid any accidents. Some of the best tips for hanging stockings and preventing accidental fires are:

Hang the Stocking At Least 3 Feet Above the Fireplace

As you start to measure and map out where you would like to hang your stockings, keeping a safe distance from the flames is key. It is recommended to hang stockings at least 3 feet above the fireplace to reduce the risk of them catching fire. If any sparks or burning soot were to fly through the air, the distance could make a huge difference in preventing a potential fire.

Avoid Overloading Your Stockings

Although it may be tempting to fill your stockings to the top with gifts, it is important to avoid overloading them. Too much weight can cause the stocking to sag and potentially fall into the fireplace. As you fill your stockings, make sure to distribute the weight evenly and avoid placing heavy objects on one side.

Use Non-Flammable Hooks or Strips

As mentioned earlier, nails and traditional metal hooks can pose a serious fire hazard when hung above the fireplace. Instead, opt for non-flammable adhesive hooks or strips that are specifically designed to hold stockings and decorations in place without causing any damage.

Spray New Stockings with Fire-Resistant Protectant

New stockings are the most prone to catching fire, as their fibers are not yet worn and flammable materials may have been used during manufacturing. To reduce this risk, invest in a fire-resistant protectant spray that will help prevent the stockings from catching fire in case of any accidents. Before choosing to do this, make sure to read all labels to ensure the product is safe.

Never Leave a Fireplace Unattended When In-Use

If your fireplace is in use, there should always be someone keeping a watchful eye. Even if you do not have any decorations hanging, it is important never to leave a fire unattended. In case of an emergency, having someone present can make all the difference.

Contact New England Hearth & Home to Schedule a Fireplace Installation, Cleaning, Repair, or Inspection in or Near Canton, MA

At New England Hearth & Home, we are dedicated to helping homeowners enjoy a warm and cozy holiday season while ensuring their safety. Hanging stockings from the fireplace can be a fun and festive tradition, but it is important to prioritize safety first. If you have any questions or concerns about fireplace safety, our staff can provide you with the best advice and services. Based in Canton, MA, we offer fireplace installation, cleaning, repair, and inspection services to all homes in the surrounding areas. To learn more about our services, service areas, and how to schedule a service request, fill out our online form or call us at 781-562-0771.

Can You Cook S’Mores & Other Food With a Wood-Burning Fireplace?

roasting marshmallows over a flame in an indoor wood-burning fireplace to make s'mores using home hearth

Is it Safe to Make S'Mores & Cook Food Using a Wood-Burning Fireplace or Stove?

We have all heard the song about roasting chestnuts over an open fire or making s’mores during a camping trip. These are fun and delicious activities to enjoy outside during the Summer, but what about when the temperatures drop during the Winter? If you have a wood-burning fireplace at home, you may wonder if you can make these sweet treats using your indoor hearth. Before you get started, it is important first to make sure that it is safe and efficient. In this blog, we will discuss the possibility of cooking using your wood-burning fireplace and provide tips on how to keep the flames contained, your food unburnt, and your home safe. To learn more about wood-burning fireplaces and to schedule a consultation, visit our website or call us at 781-562-0771.

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Benefits of Installing a Wood-Burning Fireplace Over Gas or Electric

Wood-burning fireplaces provide many benefits over gas or electric alternatives. Not only do they add warmth and ambiance to your home, but they are also more energy-efficient. Wood is a renewable resource that does not require electricity or gas lines to operate, saving you on utility costs in the long run. Additionally, burning wood produces less carbon monoxide than natural gas or propane, making it more eco-friendly. If you live in Massachusetts, you are no stranger to the frigid weather that comes with each Winter. Installing a wood-burning fireplace can keep your home warm and cozy during the snowiest storms.

Is It Safe to Make S'Mores Using an Indoor Fireplace?

Before you begin to roast and toast, it is important to ensure that your fireplace is safe to use for cooking food. Make sure that the chimney is not sealed and allows for smoke to be ventilated and out of your s’more. You should also confirm that your fireplace has been properly maintained and cleaned. A buildup of creosote can cause fire hazards, so it is essential to have a professional chimney sweep clean your chimney annually. It is recommended to have your fireplace inspected annually by a professional to check for any damages or potential hazards. During this inspection, you can also ask about using your fireplace for cooking and get advice on how to do so safely.

Tips for Cooking Food Using a Wood-Burning Fireplace

After you have confirmed that your fireplace is ready to use for cooking, here are some tips to keep your food and home safe:

Use a Drip Pan to Catch Any Crumbs or Dropped Food

Similar to debris buildup, food that gets caught in your fireplace can create a fire risk. Adding a pan or tray underneath your food can easily clean up any mess and avoid potential hazards. When making s’mores, gooey marshmallow residue can stick to your hearth and cause a fire if not removed. Also, leftover food can attract bugs and pests, leading to an infestation or damaged wood.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby

As with any open fire, it is essential to have a fire extinguisher in case of an emergency. Keep one nearby if the flames get out of control or something accidentally catches on fire. In the case of an emergency, fire extinguishers can be life-saving and prevent a small fire from turning into a larger, more dangerous one.

Read the Manufacturer's Guide Before Cooking with a Wood Fireplace

When you purchase your new fireplace, it should come with a guide from the manufacturer about troubleshooting, maintenance, and safety tips. In this guide, it should mention if your appliance can be used as a stove and the proper way to apply this feature. If you are unsure, contact the brand directly or the fireplace experts at New England Hearth & Home.

Avoid Using Aerosol Sprays & Non-Stick Cookware

Aerosol sprays and non-stick cookware should be avoided over an open flame. These products can release harmful chemicals into the air when heated, which can cause respiratory issues or a fire hazard if they come into direct contact with the flames.

Contact New England Hearth & Home in Canton, MA for Wood-Burning Fireplace Installations, Replacements, Repairs, & Instructions

If you are unsure the best way to use your wood-burning fireplace or stove, contact New England Hearth & Home for guidance. As a trusted fireplace servicer, our staff is on hand to answer any questions regarding your hearth and how to use it as a stove. Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about installing a fireplace in your home, we can help walk you through the different types, styles, and brands to find the right one for you. To learn more and schedule a consultation, visit our website or call us at 781-562-0771.