C&G's Guide to Fireplace Safety

Before you sweep the chimney, stack up on wood logs and spark fire to the fireplace, it’s best to remind yourself on the ‘dos-and-don’ts’ of fireplace safety. In the latest C&G guide, we present our winter checklist to best prepare and maintain safety around your fireplace and home.

 1.    Hire A Chimney Sweep

Wood heaters should be serviced once a year. Have your flue cleaned by a certified sweep. It’s best to remove soot and debris before cracking up the very first winter fire.  

2.    Service & Maintenance

It’s best to service heaters during spring or early summer – this minimises corrosive effects during the off-season. However, if you’ve left it until winter, a service from a certified heating repair and maintenance company will perform a ‘conditions check’ on insulation, door seals, baffles and sneaky bird nests near your roof’s cavity.

3.    Reduce Smoke Emission

Allow full air for at least 20 minutes before refuelling. Do not close total air supply overnight – a little air will reduce the amount of smoke build-up.

4.    Wood Storage

Wood heaters best operate with dry and well-seasoned wood. The older the wood, the better. Store in dry and ventilated areas to ensure air can circulate freely – pile wood in a crisscrossed pattern or on pallets. Always buy wood from a reputable supplier and preferably a member of the Australian Home Heating Association.

5.    Overnight Burning

Load up the fire at least half an hour prior to going to bed. Most heaters will burn up to eight hours without difficulty. Turn air supply down to a minimum, once wood is charred (20 mins) to avoid creosote issues. It takes time to test the fire burning time of your heater – if used constantly throughout the day, a well-insulated house may not require burning overnight.

6.    Fuelling Your Fire

Most heaters – depending on size – burn better with at least 3-4 logs. When cleaning out the ash always leave 10 mm behind. When adding fuel to the fire, leave air controls open for 20 mins to burn wood properly. Never use petrol, oil or kerosene to help light fires. Dark smoke is a sign of poor burning and a result of insufficient air intake.

7.    Getting Started

Use kindling wood, paper or firelights to get fire stated. Add large pieces of wood after hot bed of coals start burning. Leave air controls open for 30 mins after fire starts burning. A little more smoke than expected is completely normal when first starting your fire – if it lasts longer than 15 minutes, keep the air controls open.

If your fireplace requires a service, get in touch with Chisholm & Gamon. Our certified list of Bayside property professionals will ensure your appliances are repaired, maintained and safe for seasonal operation.



03 9531 1245
90 Ormond Road,
Elwood Vic 3184
View suburb profile

Black Rock

03 9589 3133
3 Bluff Road,
Black Rock Vic 3193
View suburb profile

Port Melbourne

03 9646 4444
1/103D Bay Street,
Port Melbourne Vic 3207
View suburb profile

Meet the C&G team