Fireplace Safety

April 2023

Fireplace equipment must include:

  1. Fire Place
    Fireplace screen
  2. Fireplace tools (heat resistant gloves, poker, shovel and tongs)
  3. Metal bucket or container with proper fitting cover for ash and ember removal
  4. Fire extinguisher (ABC type) located within 35' of fireplace
  5. "Seasoned" fire wood (1 year old or older)
    • wood must be obtained through the Physical Plant Service Desk, ext 2254

Operating instructions

  1. Has the fireplace been properly cleaned?
    • Ash and ember removal must be done prior to starting a fire
  2. Open fireplace damper
  3. Crinkle several sheets of newspaper (black & white print) and place under a log grate
  4. Place 2 to 4 "seasoned" dry logs on the grate
    • wood must be stored outside, in a dry area
  5. Roll up and light a single section of newspaper
    • does the smoke rise up the chimney?
      • Yes, light the paper under the grate
      • No, put the lit paper out against the inside wall of the fireplace
  6. Close the fireplace screen

Additional Precautions

  • Never leave the fire unattended
  • Do not let the fireplace overheat
  • Leave the fireplace damper open for approximately 12 hours after the fire is out
  • Do not place old ashes or embers in a waste basket or up against the building

Chimney Fires

If you hear a loud roar within the chimney, or there are flames or sparks coming from the top of the chimney, initiate the following:

Activate FIRE ALARM system and call

  • Amherst College Police Department at 2111