The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a resource for fireplace and chimney owners that they call Burnwise. This program provides loads of information to better inform consumers about using their chimneys. This program was developed in order to decrease the risk of fire and increase the rate of safety in our homes.

One aspect of the EPA’s Burnwise program is they have provided a list of best practices. This includes information like choosing the right firewood and understanding what not to burn in your fireplace. For instance, you should never burn household garbage in your fireplace. Any plastic in that garbage can release chemicals that are harmful to breathe. They also recommend that you keep your fires burning hot. In most cases, a low intensity, or smoldering, fire is neither safe nor efficient.

Finally, this valuable resource gives you an understanding of the health effects of smoke. This helps keep an air of urgency when chimney repairs are necessary. Go over to the Burnwise website, and see the tips and tools for yourself. An informed person is a safe person.