What You Need to Know Before Using Your Fireplace the First Time

Chimney Sweep in Amherst, NH

If you’ve just had a new fireplace built or installed, or if you’ve just moved into a home with a fireplace already in it, you’re in for some enjoyable times in the years ahead. Make them more enjoyable by following these tips for first-time fireplace use and use from then on.

Ensure that the chimney is clean

This doesn’t apply if you have a brand-new fireplace and vent system. But if you’re new to the home and its existing fireplace, don’t go by appearances – only a professional chimney sweep can determine if your flue is loaded with flammable creosote or obstructions. Arrange for a CSIA-certified chimney professional to clean your fireplace before firing it up.

Have the fireplace and chimney inspected

If the fireplace you’ll be using for the first time was used by the previous homeowners, schedule a service call with a fireplace and chimney company to make sure the unit is safe and that all parts are in good working order.

If you have any question about the condition of the chimney, have it inspected. Trained chimney inspectors can easily determine if certain structural or component repairs are required before using the chimney for the first time.

Install smoke and CO detectors

It’s critically important when using any fire-based heating appliance to have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) monitors in the house and near the appliance. Smoke detectors alert you to smoke. CO detectors alert you to deadly carbon monoxide, which you can neither see nor smell.

Start off with good burning practices

Whether it’s a brand-new unit or an older one you’ve had cleaned and inspected, it’s smart to burn wood correctly right from the start. Primarily this means using only dry (seasoned) wood rather than wood that is damp. Unseasoned wood creates much more smoke and therefore adds much more creosote to your flue. Also, damp wood burns sluggishly and incompletely.

Getting a fire going the right way is easy: stack the logs with some breathing room between them, add smaller wood scraps (kindling) on top, then on top of that add tinder, which can be crumbled-up, uncolored newspaper.

Chimney Inspection in Concord, NHNever use the following in your fireplace:

  • Gasoline, lighter fluid, charcoal starter or any other accelerant
  • Christmas trees
  • Packaging materials/cardboard boxes
  • Clothing or any type of fabric
  • Pieces of treated or painted wood
  • Household garbage
  • Plastics of any kind

4 additional safety measures

  1. It’s always smart to install quality glass fireplace doors or at least set up a proper fireplace screen in front of the firebox to keep fiery embers from popping out of the flames and causing damage.
  2. Keep young children and pets away from the fireplace while it’s in use and after a fire.
  3. Don’t overload the firebox. It’s better to occasionally add logs than to jam a ton of wood in there to save you trouble, because it could overheat the system.
  4. Make sure the fire is fully extinguished before leaving the house for any length of time.

Know the signs of a chimney fire

  • Odd clicking or tapping noises
  • Huge amounts of smoke coming from either end of the system
  • A rumbling noise like a distant train
  • And, obviously, flames leaping out of the top of your chimney

If any of these happen, call local emergency services and, if safe to do so, put out the fire in the fireplace. After the situation is under control, have your chimney professionally inspected before using the fireplace again.

Black Moose Chimney & Stove of Antrim, NH, wants everyone to get the most out of their new fireplaces and enjoy them for many years. If you’re getting ready to use your fireplace for the first time, call us to perform a thorough inspection and necessary cleaning to make sure your fireplace and chimney are safe. Reach us any time at (603) 525-7905.


First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)