WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - Some of the coldest temperatures of the winter are still ahead, which means that many people will start using their fireplaces for the first time this season. But as more people start to use their fireplaces more, the risk of house fires increases.
According to the West Chester Fire Department, winter is the most common time of year for residential fires, and 40 percent of all fires that occurred in the United States between 2007 and 2009 were fireplace related.
Fire officials say that in many cases, the sources of these fires are hot embers or ashes. To avoid a house fire this season, here are some important things to keep in mind before using your fireplace:
• Overbuilt fires can ignite creosote (a build-up that can result from the burning of wood) inside the chimney, so don’t use too much paper to build fires.
• Never burn charcoal indoors, as it can give off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide.