Colorado Springs, Colorado (NAPSI) - When your family and friends come to your house, a great way to greet them can be with a fire on the hearth.

Hot Tips On Fireplaces

Here are a few hints on how:

1. Proper fireplace maintenance and chimney cleaning prevent fires, prevent heat loss and save money, so have a professional service company inspect the fireplace damper and sweep the chimney annually.

2. Test the chimney draft before lighting the fire. Make sure the damper is open, then ignite a small piece of paper in the fireplace, put it out to smolder and see if smoke goes up the chimney.

3. Position the firewood properly on the grate in the firebox:

• Place a large log in the back.

• Put a medium log in the front to prevent the wood from rolling out.

• Use small to medium logs between the back and front logs.

• The closer the fire is to the front of the fireplace, the more likely you’ll have smoke leak.

• Keep a moderate bed of ashes in the firebox at all times so the fire burns more slowly and evenly and uses less wood.

4. Understand firewood measurements. Firewood is often sold in bulk by the cord or rick.

• A cord measures 4’ deep x 4’ high x 8’ long.

• A rick, or face cord, measures 2’ deep x 4’ high x 8’ long.

5. All wood should be split.

6. Using hardwood such as oak and hickory that has been seasoned at least a year prevents sparks and keeps the chimney cleaner. Softwood such as pine and cedar burn very fast, tend to pop loudly and can throw sparks out of the fireplace.

7. The woodpile should be kept dry. Wet or green wood will smolder and not produce a blazing fire.

These tips come from Jeff Smith, vice president of Facilities & Construction at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. Since the first one opened in 1969, there has always been a fire in the fireplace and a woodpile out back of every store and restaurant from October through April when the temperature is below 50 degrees, so even if you don’t have a fireplace at home, you can still bask in the warmth of one there.

Learn More

To find out further facts about Cracker Barrel, visit or call (800) 333-9566. To find out how the company restores and preserves the artifacts on display in its stores, visit For more information about fire safety, visit

The information in this article is provided by Cracker Barrel and no warranty is made regarding its accuracy or completeness. The company shall not be held responsible for any error or omissions in the content.