381-8 Old Riverhead Road

Westhampton Beach, NY

Tel. 631-998-0780

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am to 5pm / Sat. By Appointment / Sun. Closed

Our Company Blog

Throw it Away! Don’t Burn Your Wrapping Paper

Christmas is only days away, and with it comes family, fun, and festivities. In many homes across America, Christmas also means a fire in the hearth. Gift-giving and merriment are made even better with a crackling fire in the fireplace, and we agree. It’s our goal at Beach Stove and Fireplace to not only make sure your fire is crackling and warm, but also safe. As licensed, certified, and insured chimney sweeps, we offer professional services to keep your chimney safe. Having a professional install, service, repair, and inspect your fire appliances is the best way to stay safe. It’s our job to take care of the chimney. It’s important that homeowners do their part by remembering fireplace safety on the big day. Don’t let a disaster ruin your Christmas.

The Problem with Wrapping Paper

The least popular task after a big get-together is definitely clean-up. If you’re sitting around a fire for your gift exchange, it seems like no big deal to toss the wrapping paper right into the fireplace. Don’t do it. Wrapping paper is made of chemical compounds that color the paper. These compounds commonly contain high levels of toxic metal. When burned, the chemicals react with the paper, causing hazardous gases to be released. It’s best to burn only appropriate fuel in your fireplace and to practice safe habits all winter long. 

  • Only burn firewood in your fireplace.

Light items like pine needles (Christmas tree pieces), leaves, and paper can rise up the flue while aflame. This can lead to flue fires as well as roof and yard fires when flames escape the chimney. The only thing that should go into your fireplace is seasoned firewood. If you have a gas fireplace, you should never burn items in your fireplace. Gas fireplaces are designed to only burn gas. Some gas fireplaces don’t even require a chimney, so burning paper will release smoke and particle pollution directly into your house.

During the merriment of Christmas morning, wrapping paper can get too close to the fireplace and light unintentionally. Be safe by keeping your glass doors or screen closed. Not only will it keep unwanted items out of the fire, but it will prevent children from being burned, and guests from adjusting your fire.

Other Ways to Stay Safe this Christmas

Make sure that your family has a happy and healthy holiday season by having a safe fire.

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms throughout your home and check batteries regularly.
  • Discuss fireplace safety with guests and children. Never leave a fire unattended or leave children unattended with a fire.
  • Plan a fire escape with two ways out of your house, and practice it with your family.
  • Use appropriate fireplace tools and accessories designed to assist with fireplace tasks. You should choose a fire poker and shovel with long handles to avoid burns. Avoid leaning over a fire, and keep loose clothing and hair away from open flames.

Your fireplace will be the star of the show in the coming weeks. Don’t hesitate to light your fireplace throughout the festivities. Prevent property loss, injury, and even death by practicing fire safety this season.

By Julie Dismore on December 21st, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Throw it Away! Don’t Burn Your Wrapping Paper

The Importance of Well Seasoned Firewood

Weather experts have predicted this upcoming winter to be as frigid as last year’s record breaking winter, and this has everyone thinking ahead about keeping warm. For some people, staying warm inside the house involves lighting a toasty fire in the fireplace or wood stove. However, burning a fire requires having the right fuel, and if the fireplace burns wood, that means stocking up on the best firewood.

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Prior to deciding on the species of tree to burn in the fireplace, the most important aspect of the firewood is actually its dryness. Dry firewood has completed the “seasoning” process in which it has been stored out of the elements and allowed to dry for an amount of time specific to the variety of wood. Lightweight wood may only need about six months to season, while the densest woods could take up to two years.

Do your best to avoid firewood that has been stored outside because it has not had a chance to season. The water content in this wood is most likely very high, which results in cool smoky fires. When the wood contains a lot of water, the fire expends a lot of energy boiling the water away, and this produces less heat, creates more smoke, and costs you money in poor fuel efficiency. In the end, the firewood also burns incompletely.

Incompletely burned firewood leads to the production of creosote. This thick, tarry material first leaves the fire in a hot, vaporized form, but as it travels up the chimney, it cools and clings to the chimney walls. Over time, creosote can build up to the point of closing up the chimney completely, which can cause a backup of harmful gases like carbon monoxide into the home. Creosote is also highly flammable, so a stray ember in a creosote-filled chimney could result in a devastating house fire. Luckily, you can avoid all of this with regular chimney sweeps and by only burning well seasoned wood.

Once you have found the right wood with the longest seasoning time, you have to take it home and decide how to store it. The most ideal way to store firewood is to keep it indoors and uncovered. Storing the wood indoors protects it from rain and snow, which keeps it dry. Seasoned wood, especially, absorbs water very readily because of its dryness, so keeping it out of the elements is vital. Leaving the wood uncovered also permits any trapped water to evaporate. Completely wrapping the wood in a tarp can lead to trapped moisture and an increased water content. If storing the wood inside is not an option, you can store it outside, but be sure to cover the top of the stack. Any kind of water proof “roof” works well in an outdoor storage situation, such as a sheet of aluminum siding. Leave the sides of the wood stack open, so air can flow through to keep it dry.

If you have any questions about choosing or storing your firewood, get in touch with your local chimney and fireplace specialist. For an expert in the Westhampton Beach, New York area, contact Beach Stove and Fireplace.

By Julie Dismore on November 30th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Importance of Well Seasoned Firewood

Our Location

Beach Stove and Fireplace is located on Old Riverhead Road between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway. From Sunrise Highway take exit 63 south, travel 1.2 miles and turn right at the 381 complex (just north of Gabreski Airport)