Fireplace Safety – Can Your Ashes

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 13-108
Date:  October 10, 2013

As outdoor temperatures drop and people take measures to keep themselves warm this winter, fire incidents involving fireplaces may increase. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind you of some important SAFETY TIPS:

  • Have your chimney inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary.
  • When cleaning the fireplace, store ashes in a non-combustible container with a tight fitting lid and place the container away from the house.
  • Never leave a fireplace fire unattended.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Allow ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container (sometimes it takes four days for ashes to cool down).
  • Dispose of ashes in a metal container.
  • Call 911 immediately when a fire occurs. Residents should not attempt to extinguish the fire themselves.

For more seasonal fire and life safety information, please visit our website at:

For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger,
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711.
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-877-3702
Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs,
services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request.
4100 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

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