Company Blog

Fireplace Safety Tips

We will be using our fireplaces and heaters before we know it. It’s always good to be reminded of some things that can help to keep us safe and sound during the coming Winter season.

BEFORE: Getting ready to burn

Wood (fireplaces, freestanding heaters and wood stove inserts)

  • Inspect chimney and appliance annually. Use a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep.
  • Install a chimney cap to prevent critters and tree debris from entering the chimney and creating blockages.
  • Install smoke detector/carbon monoxide detector. Replace batteries regularly.

Gas (gas log, b-vent, direct vent, vent free appliances)

  • Get annual check-ups by qualified technicians. Check out gas line connections, burner and control valves.
  • Supervise children, elderly and animals around hot glass. Teach about risk of burns when the appliance is on and shortly after – until surfaces cool down.


  • Regularly check out cords, wiring and plugs to discover wear spots or exposed metal.
  • Do not run cords under carpet, rugs, runners, furniture or appliances.

DURING: While using the system or appliance

Wood (fireplaces, freestanding heaters and wood stove inserts)

  • Make sure the damper is open before lighting a fire.
  • Seasoned wood is easier to light and burns more efficiently.
  • Don’t burn colored newspapers, sales papers or plastic.
  • Don’t use gasoline or kerosene or lighter fluid to help start a fire.
  • Keep flammable materials (curtains, furniture, bookshelves, stacks of books or newspapers, etc) at least 3 feet from the woodburning area.

Gas (gas log, b-vent, direct vent, vent free appliances)

  • Read operations manual for vent-free appliances (gas logs). Do not exceed burn time specified by the manufacturer. If you do, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Make sure damper is permanently clamped open when using vented gas logs. Always check before turning on gas logs to make sure the damper is open.
  • Pay attention to any changes in smell or the look (size or color) of the flame. Changes can indicate that the appliance is not operating correctly.


  • Never use extension cords!
  • Never block any vents (intake or exhaust). Unrestricted airflow is necessary for proper operations.

AFTER: When it’s time to clean up.

Wood (fireplaces, freestanding heaters and wood stove inserts)

  • Keep damper open until all coals and embers are totally burned out.
  • Do not leave the house or go to bed until fire is totally burned out.
  • Use non-combustible (metal) container for ashes. Keep them away from the house structure. Wait until completely cold before dumping. It might be good to have two containers and alternate use allowing time for ashes to completely go cold before dumping.

Gas (gas log, b-vent, direct vent, vent free appliances)

  • Keep children, elders and animals away from hot glass or metal parts until completely cooled down.


  • Unplug appliance when not in operation and during thunderstorms.

It’s that time — time to enjoy the pleasures of a warm hearth over the coming winter season. We here at Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth wish you joy and many toasty evenings! Be Safe!

Could Fire-safety Training Save Your Child’s Life?

Do your children know what to do if your home catches fire?could-fire-safety-training-save-your-childs-life-img-spartanburg-sc-blue-sky-chimney-service

  • Will they rush into a smoke-filled hallway or down a burning staircase?
  • Will they panic and hide in a closet or under a bed and wait for rescue?
  • Will they run into the house to save a pet or special toy?

Scores of children are fire-drill trained by school teachers and successfully escape burning school buildings every year. Smaller children at home need the same kind of instruction. The entire family can benefit from practice sessions (fire drills) teaching children how to get out of the house safely in case of fire.


  • One lit match can burn a house down and hurt or kill people.
  • Fire can overtake a house in just a few minutes.
  • If a door (or doorknob) is hot when you touch it, DO NOT open it. Go out a window instead.
  • Smoke (and fumes) can kill you, so get away from smoke FAST. If you see smoke, get on the floor and crawl to a window quickly.
  • If your clothes catch on fire, roll over and over and over on the floor, or roll up in a rug to put out the flames.
  • When a house is on fire, PEOPLE are important. DO NOT try to save things.


  • Plan TWO DIFFERENT ways to get out of a house.
  • EVERY bedroom should have a way to get out of a window.
    o Commercial fire escape ladder
    o Strong knotted rope


  • Map out escape routes
  • Get the needed ladders, ropes or other equipment.
  • Practice getting out by the main route AND the alternate route.
  • Stash survival equipment (blankets, flashlights, sweaters, sleeping bags) outside the main home (especially if you live in a rural area).
  • Start your fire drill with a referee whistle (have one hanging in a visible predetermined location in every bedroom) or set off a smoke alarm.
  • Pick a meeting place for after the “escape” so that everyone can be accounted for quickly and no one has to go back into the house for someone who is already safely outside.
  • Call the fire department AFTER you know that everyone is out of the house safely.
  • Making the fire drill a game can be fun for small children, while stressing that fire is very serious. Helping them learn that fires can happen, but people can get away from them, will decrease the chances that they will be confused, panic-stricken or paralyzed with fear if a real fire occurs.

Many residential fires happen in winter and at night. Improperly installed, carelessly used or irregularly maintained solid-fuel (wood or coal) heating systems can cause home fires.

Our carefully trained technicians at Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth can help to determine any issues that may contribute to a potential house fire. Schedule an inspection or service for your chimney and fireplace system today. Call (864-682-5422) or email ( and speak with one of our friendly customer service folks.