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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wood-Fired Magazine Looking for Writers


Wood-Fired Magazine is looking for writers who are experts in their field. The deadline for article, press releases, and photo projects for the next issue of Wood-Fired is January 5th, but we will accept articles anytime.

Please send submissions to See the writer guidelines and article compensation information on the website. We provide a 1/4 page ad for 1,000 - 1,500 word submissions. Photos are desired in high resolution for print. Some articles will also appear on our blog.

We are looking for articles about anything related to wood and fire: chimneys, ovens, fireplaces, baking, cooking, building, etc. Kachelofen masonry heaters are the feature in this issue but we want articles on various topics in each issue.

The magazine is distributed worldwide via digital download and in print.

To see the magazine, visit 

Monday, December 15, 2014

MCSC Offers Educational Classes March 20-22

The Midwest Chimney Safety Council is Holding Educational Classes 
Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 22, 2015 in Independence, Missouri

8:00 a.m.—6:30 p.m.
CDET Certification:  Get yourself and your employees C-Det Certified and learn what you don’t know about dryers, dryer vents, and the lucrative dryer vent cleaning and inspection market. Keep ahead of the competition with this additional credential!

To Register: Go to to pay and register for the CDET review and test and purchase your manual.  Get your manual NOW to study before the review. The MCSC is NOT taking registrations or payment for this portion. 


8:30 am—5:30 pm
What Every Contractor Needs to Know About OSHA Requirements
Avoid heavy fines and possible financial ruin by attending this class.  A Midwest chimney company recently had over $40,000 in fines—don’t let this happen to you! Learn what you need to know about OSHA safety requirements on the job and record keeping requirements for 2015.  Bring your employees and safety manager along with you!
Instructor: Robert M. Kellogg, MS, CSP, CHST, CSM, CSSM, CSST with Safety Consulting & Training Services, LLC

9:00 am—10:30 am

How to Use FLIR Technology for Inspections
Find out how you and your techs can use a FLIR infrared camera to check for leaks and other issues with fireplaces and chimneys and more. Connect E-Series cameras to smartphones and tablets with a Wi-Fi app. Stream live thermal video so co-workers can watch along. Import radiometric JPEGs, adjust contrast and color, add more measurement tools, then package images in concise reports and email findings right from the field to expedite critical decisions. This is the latest in high-tech and can be very useful in your business and at home. Technical CEU’s will be applied for. Instructor: Roy Huff with the Snell Group.

11:00 am—12:30 pm
Reducing Stress in the Workplace
How about learning some unique and fun techniques to reduce stress in the workplace, which is something we all need? Health CEU's will be applied for. 
Instructor: Alice Brink

12:30 pm Lunch and meeting

Visit for more information and to download the registration form.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Don't Spoil the Holidays with a Chimney Fire

As the weather gets colder, and the holidays approach, more people are using -- and abusing, their wood stoves and fireplaces. A chimney fire during this time can ruin the day.

December and January are the worst months for chimney fires so I've made a list of tips for homeowners to follow that will help avoid a fire.

Tips to avoid a chimney fire:

- Never burn wet wood (more than 20% moisture content). Wet wood takes a lot of energy to burn off the moisture and causes smoldering, which is inefficient.
- Never burn dry pine or hedge- they burns too hot (but small pieces may be used for kindling
- Never burn treated wood or colored paper (toxic fumes are emitted which can be a health hazard)
- Never burn wrapping paper- this is a big cause of chimney fires! Wrapping paper floats upward and can catch creosote on fire in the smoke chamber or flue.
- Never put a Christmas tree in a fireplace - a chimney fire is practically guaranteed! Christmas trees are especially dry and will burn fast and hot. Instead, take the tree outside and cut into small pieces for kindling or have it hauled off by the city.
- No Chimney Sweeping Logs! We have had customers who have had chimney fires occur right after use of one of these logs. Creosote on the flue walls drops down into the smoke chamber on the shelf where it is closer to the fire. Then a spark can ignite it and a chimney fire occurs. Besides, the sweeping log can't do an inspection!
- Have the chimney swept and inspected annually, or more often for wood stoves - by a professional chimney sweep. A good chimney sweep can identify problems that the untrained eye may miss. 

All wood creates creosote - even dry hardwoods like Oak and Hickory, so creosote cannot be avoided. It must be removed by brushing, or in some cases where glazed, baked-on creosote is on the flue walls - by power cleaning. Power cleaning may consist of a wire whip or chains on a drill operated by a technician. This removes the baked -on creosote. A chemical treatment may also be needed. Glazed creosote occurs when wood is not properly burned, or the wrong type of wood is used. 

Get advise from your chimney sweep about how to use your fireplace or wood stove if you have any questions. Check our website at for more homeowner tips.  


Marge Padgitt is the president of HearthMasters, Inc. and publisher of Wood-Fired Magazine. She has been in the chimney and hearth industry for 29 years and is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and NFI Woodburning Specialist.