Is it Safe to Leave a Fire Burning in Fireplace Overnight

Is it Safe to Leave a Fire Burning in Fireplace Overnight?

The fireplace is a relaxing and cozy place that gives a room physical warmth and a feeling of joy and well-being, and little wonder; many people see the fireplace as their favorite spot in their house.

Despite how welcoming the fireplace can be, it is still a place you must treat with care and caution because fire is very volatile and dangerous. Hence there is a need to be safety conscious as you enjoy your fireplace.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has data proving that more than 51% of fire incidences resulting in death in the United States occur in residential homes between 11 pm to 7 am. 

This is when most people sleep, and it is often too late to take action or avert imminent danger. It takes less than 30 seconds for an unattended fire to get out of hand.

So it is never safe to leave a fireplace burning through the night; this is because negligence is one of the leading causes of fire in homes, and you can’t tend a fire when you are sleeping.

Is It Safe To Leave A Fire Burning In Fireplace Overnight?

It is not safe to leave your fire burning in the fireplace overnight because one of the fire regulations is that no fire should be left unattended, so except you will be awake all through the night to tend the fire, never leave a fire burning overnight.

Even after putting off the fire, you must let the ash and the charcoal cool down and ensure that there is no live ember before you go to bed.

Related: How Do You Keep Your Fire Pit from Rusting? 

Can You Leave A Wood Fire On Overnight?

It is a bit tempting to leave a wood fire burning at night, especially if the weather is so chilly. You might say the fire is small, and the wood is almost burnt out, so there is nothing to worry about.

But we need to remind you that it takes only a slight wind. Then sparks will send hot ashes and embers flying from the fireplace to any flammable material, and a house fire ensues because even without live fire, these hot ashes and embers can set a place ablaze. You will be damaging your fireplace if you keep it burning for more than 5 hours at a time.

How Do You Keep a Fire Burning Overnight?

Is it Safe to Leave a Fire Burning in Fireplace Overnight

If you still insist on burning your fire overnight, you start the fire with two extensive kinds of wood that you place parallel to each other; this ensures that both woods burn through their length slowly. You can then add some smaller ones after 15 minutes.

To get the log charred and ensure that they are burning properly, you should open the vent or damper for some minutes as this will reduce the smoke too.

When you are ready to go to bed, you should turn off your fan and close the damper to ensure that you don’t have a gust of wind while asleep that might cause the fire to go out of control.

When Should You Close The Flue After A Fire?

The flue damper of a fireplace allows you to control the inflow of air in your chimney when the fireplace is in use; it helps control how much air comes into the fireplace, so you can use it to control the ventilation. By adjusting the flue damper, you can have a fire that is burning safely and efficiently.

When you are about to light hour fireplace, you should open the flue and leave it open as long as the fireplace is in use; this is to prevent the smoke from getting into your home and help the fire generate more heat. The flue should remain open until all the embers have died out.

You should always close your fireplace’s flue when there is no fire burning there to ensure that heat does not escape from the room from the vent, which is counterproductive as you will have to spend more money and time heating the room afterward.

How Do You Make a Fire Burn Slower?

If you understand why your fire burns very fast, it is pretty easy for you to reverse the process and get a slow-burning fire. There are lots of reasons why your fire burns out fast, the major reasons are:

1. The Wood is Too Dry

While it is good that you use very seasoned wood for burning in your fireplace, if the wood is too dried, it will burn too fast.

Well, seasoned is expected to have about 20% of moisture for it to burn optimally. If you use wood with a lower percentage of moisture, you will need to go for ones that fall within the threshold of seasoned woods to burn more slowly and efficiently.

2. You are Burning the Wrong Wood

Woods are broadly divided into softwood and hardwood. Softwood burns very rapidly and burns out quickly, while hardwoods burns slowly and for longer. So if you are using softwood like pine or apple, you will have a fire that burns very fast.

3. Too Much Ventilation

If the supply of air around your fire is excellent, then your fire will burn out fast because the oxygen that supports burning is too much for the fire, and so the fire will burn fast.

4. You are Using the Wrong Size of Wood

The smaller the size of your wood, the faster it will burn. Small pieces of wood have a lot of surface area that fire can burn through very fast.

To slow the rate at which you fire burn, ensure that you use well-seasoned wood that is not overly dry. Wood that has a moisture of about 20% will burn slowly and perfectly.

How you arrange your log as you burn them can affect how fast or slow they burn. Use the top-down method of wood arrangement in which the bigger woods are placed at the bottom of the fireplace, and then the smaller logs follow before you top it up with kindling or tinder.

Instead of using softwood that contains more lignin that makes them burn very rapidly, opt for the hardwood with heavier wood content and less lignin content and so burns a lot more slowly.

To reduce the amount of oxygen that causes your fire to burn fast, close any air vents, windows and doors within the room so that less air can get in.

Simple Precautions To Take As You Light Your Fireplace

Besides making sure that a fireplace fire is properly put out, there are several things you should and shouldn’t do to make sure you don’t accidentally have a house fire on your hands.

Here are lists of things you can do to safeguard your home from any fire disaster whenever you’re using a fire pit or any other fire device like a fire bowl or chiminea. The safety precautions include:

1. Ensure that your fireplace and fire devices are properly inspected before they are lighted the first time during the winter season.

2. Use suitable wood that is properly seasoned to don’t generate a lot of smoke and odor that burning unseasoned woods produce.

3. A fire extinguisher functioning properly should always be available to take care of any fire that goes out of control.

4. Hot ash should never be disposed of carelessly; it should be allowed to cool down before being properly disposed of, and the fireplace or fire unit carefully cleaned up.

5. Always remember to keep the chimney flue open when the fire is burning so that the smoke can go up the chimney and out of the house. You could also leave a window open for smoke that did not leave through the chimney to go through the window.

6. Many woods and other materials produce toxic fumes and unpleasant odors when they are burnt. It would be best if you never burned them in your fireplace; this includes cones, pine needles, and the likes.

7. A fire should never be left unattended, even if it is just for 5 minutes, because that time is long enough to turn a small spark into an uncontrollable fire.

8. Don’t leave your fireplace or fire unit on for an extended period; it increases the chance of a fire disaster and can damage your fire unit.

9. Do not leave flammable materials very close to your fireplace, be they decorations, artworks, and what have you. This is because a single stray spark that gets to them can cause a fire disaster.

10. Use the right tools like an ash shovel for cleaning your fireplace. Never use a vacuum cleaner to clean the ashes on your fire unit; this is because there might be a live spark in the ashes, and when you try to vacuum the ash, there is a possibility of the spark reigning the fire.


Fire is never a thing to toy with because it can turn from a source of heat and warmth to a weapon of mass destruction in a matter of seconds.

That is why we say it is a bad idea to leave your fire burning overnight as you sleep because you never know what will happen as you snore away.

There are lots of safety tips that will make using your fire device very safe, both for you, the people around you, your property, and the fire unit itself; please adhere to every one of them.

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Is it Safe to Leave a Fire Burning in Fireplace Overnight?

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