Fireplace Safety

Chimney with Creosote Buildup
Chimney with Creosote Buildup

Fireplaces/wood stoves are responsible annually for an average of 24,300 home fires, resulting in 30 deaths, 110 civilian injuries, and causing $255 million in property damage.

Safety Tips to Reduce the Risk of Fires and Injuries:
  • Get an annual chimney check
Have your fireplace or wood stove inspected for deficiencies and creosote buildup at least annually. Repair and clean as necessary.
  • Choose the right material to burn
For wood-burning, choose only well-seasoned dry wood. Never burn, Christmas trees, treated wood, plastics, paper or trash in your fireplace. Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Use a fireplace screen on the inside opening
A metal mesh screen and/or glass doors can prevent sparks from flying out
  • Keep the hearth area clear
Keep furniture and other combustible items a minimum 36 away from the hearth
  • Never leave fire unattended
Before going to bed or leaving the house, make sure the fire is fully extinguished
  • Keep tree branches clear of the chimney
Recommend minimum 15 clearance
  • Install a spark arresting screen
The top of the chimney flue should be provided with a spark arrestor
  • Install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector
Carbon monoxide can be deadly if concentrations build up in your house
  • Ensure you have working smoke detectors and test them frequently.
It is recommended you have a smoke detector on every level of your home, in the immediate area outside of the sleeping rooms, and in every bedroom. Check the detectors frequently to ensure they are working.
Additional Department Information

Fire and Life Safety Department Contacts

Medford Fire-Rescue Fire & Life Safety Division
200 South Ivy Street, Room #180
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 774-2300
Fax: (541) 774-2514
Contact: Deputy Chief - Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg
Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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