I have been excited about the cooler temperatures because I love to build fires in the fireplace. Over the weekend, I had a large load of red oak delivered and plan on my first fire soon. There are some steps I must take though to keep things safe.

According to The U.S. Fire Administration, "More than one-third of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances as primary heat sources in their homes. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the fire risks when heating with wood and solid fuels."

Here are a few tips:

  • Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
  • Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new long life smoke alarms.

See a full list of tips at The U.S. Fire Administration website.

Another site, Monkeysee.com claims:

America's fire death rate is one of the highest per capita in the industrialized world. Fire kills 3,700 and injures more than 20,000 people each year. They have a series of Fire Saftey Videos you may find interesting.