The Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild

Fire Safety


Make sure your fireplace and wood stove habits are safe and do not pose a danger to your home or your neighborhood.


Chimney & Vents

Have the chimney and vents that serve your fireplace, wood, pellet or coal stove, and your furnace, whether it’s oil or gas, inspected annually and swept when necessary by a chimney sweep who is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.


The Hearth

Clear the area around the hearth. Debris too close to the fireplace or to a wood stove could cause a fire. Trim overhanging branches or large trees near the chimney or vents. Keep holiday decorations and furniture at a safe distance.


Fireplace Screen

Always use a fireplace screen, whether it’s free standing or an attached mesh screen. Leave glass doors of a fireplace open to some degree while burning a fire, unless fireplace manufacturers’ instructions indicate otherwise. When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.


Burning Wood

Never overload your fireplace or wood stove with too much wood. Never burn garbage, glossy paper, or any wood that has been treated or painted. Never burn holiday trees or wreaths. These things are the leading cause of creosote ignition inside the flue which is known as a chimney fire and is very dangerous.


Fire Extinguishers, Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Keep a fire extinguisher on hand. Have smoke detectors installed in every room in your home, as well as carbon monoxide detectors. The installation of carbon monoxide detectors is now mandatory in the State of Massachusetts. Test the detectors and batteries regularly. Teach all family members how to use the fire extinguisher. Have a plan to exit the house and where to meet in case of a fire. Never leave a fire unattended.