"The red fire blazes, The grey smoke towers."

Hey friends!  I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for Fall.  I love Fall; the air is crisp and cool, the leaves begin to change color, football season is in full swing and life generally seems to slow down just a little bit.  It’s great.  And around here, we’re just on the cusp of it.  Today is the last day forecasted in the foreseeable future that will be above 80 degrees.  We have an afternoon storm coming, and then, in its wake, beautiful, wonderful Fall!  So, you can see why its on my mind.

And Fall, like every season, has its own practices and rituals.  One of those autumnal rituals going back to – well, I’m guessing the dawn of man – is the season’s first lighting of the old fireplace.  There’s almost something iconic in it.  Sitting down on a crisp, cool evening, hearing the wood fizzle and crack, watching the entrancing flames just does something to people.  It always has and it always will. Kids may have the latest and greatest video game systems, they may be entirely isolated in their home due to the trappings of modern life, but sitting down by a fire will always move them; it hasn’t lost its ancient power to enchant.

Now, why all the raving and emotion about fire?  Or rather, why bring it up on a blog dedicated to safety and security.  Because, as Norman Rockwell-esque as sitting by the old hearth can be, it can also be, sadly, a giant fire hazard.  Now, no pooh-poohing from my perspective.  This won’t be a “don’t burn in the fireplace” post.  What this will be is a “recommended tips” post on how to enjoy this immortal pasttime without burning down the neighborhood.  So, without having to listen to me any longer, here you go:

  1. Have an annual inspection and cleaning of your fireplace and chimney
  2. Install smoke detectors in your home to protect in the event of a fire
  3. Don’t burn green or wet wood
  4. Don’t burn anything other than wood in your fireplace (unless you’re using a stove which burns on a specific fuel)
  5. Properly vent your home and the room in which the fire is burning
  6. Learn how to correctly use your flue
  7. Don’t leave fire unattended

These are just some of the tips for having a safe fire-burning Autumn and Winter.  Though this list is not exhaustive, following these tips will help you to enjoy a safer year.  Your home and loved ones aren’t risks worth taking.  Use precautions and enjoy the season.

Note on the Title: It’s a line from Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem titled “Autumn Fires”





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