When the nights get cooler Iowans start thinking about a cheery fire. To make sure it’s the kind that doesn’t bring down the house, State Fire Marshal George Howe says his department has building codes and simple advice.get a woodburning stove that’s been tested and listed by a firm like Underwriters’ Laboratories, and install it according to the directions. The fire marshal says the most important part of your chimney or woodburning stove may be the fireplace.If you use “green” wood that hasn’t been properly dried, creosote will build up and cause chimney fires. Howe recommends checking the chimney and having a professional clean it from time to time. Remember the outside of that chimney, too.Also, have a cap or screen over the top to keep out animals and prevent spark from flying onto the roof. One final note for cooks who can’t resist grilling food even when it’s cold outside: don’t try to bring the barbecue into the house or garage. A propane grill or space heater must be outside, the gas bottle is a danger. Howe says a charcoal grill is no better, because the smoke and carbon monoxide are very dangerous in any enclosed space.
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