There’s nothing like the crackle of a fire – but make sure that fire stays where it belongs. Creosote deposits build up as warm smoke from your fireplace condenses on the cold flue – and they’re highly flammable. To reduce the chance of creosote causing unwanted blazes, stick to burning wood that’s been seasoned at least twelve months. It’s also important to make sure your fireplace maintains a good draft. If smoke back drafts into a room, it’s probably lingering too long in the flue.
And don’t forget to check your chimney liner – the material that covers the inside of your flue. It should be free of cracks and openings, and the joints between it and the stone shouldn’t be eroded!