The first precaution is a fire extinguisher. Make sure you have one in the room that has the fireplace, and make sure everyone in the house is aware of its location and how to use it. Make sure that the wood you burn in the fireplace does not contain any chemicals or plastics. This will produce toxic fumes and dangerously large flames. Make sure that any flammable household items such as furniture, rugs, and pillows, are at least 90 cm (3 ft) away from the fireplace edge. The flue should be checked for creosote buildup regularly and a professional chimney cleaner should be hired annually. Last, it would be wise to check with city officials because there are municipal laws that govern how a fireplace should be maintained and what materials are allowable. The safest and most energy-efficient tactic is to install a fireplace insert-a safe, manufactured fireplace that slides inside your existing fireplace.
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