Can I Leave My Fireplace Burning Overnight? (Let’s Find Out)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

Fireplaces are good sources of warmth during cold winter days. These fireplaces are often by different sources like electricity, gas, or wood.

The fireplace’s heat can keep the rooms at your home warm. However, it is natural to want the fireplace to burn overnight when going to bed. The heat from the fireplace will keep you warm. 

Therefore, it might be dangerous as any accident could occur if you leave the fire unattended. Nonetheless, this article talks about that.

It would be best if you did not leave your fireplace to burn overnight, irrespective of the fire source. Instead, extinguish the fire in the fireplace, remove the fire embers, and pour them into an ash bucket before you go to bed. If you leave the fire unattended, a spark from it can cause a fire hazard.  

Can You Run a Fireplace Overnight?  

Can I Leave My Fireplace Burning Overnight

You should not run your fireplace overnight unless you are awake to tend the fire. When you leave a fire unattended, you make room for fire accidents.

Leaving the fireplace unattended can be risky to your home and health, regardless of your fireplace. As long as the fire or embers are burning in the fireplace, it is prone to accidents from sparks.

Though fireplaces have different types and styles, oxygen or air drafts can ignite glowing embers in your fireplace.

These embers can throw sparks that might land on a flammable surface, leading to a fire accident in your home.

As long as the fire in your fireplace burns with no one tending to it, the fire is highly likely to spread.

It might be tempting to leave your fireplace running overnight for warmth might be tempting, but it could be life-threatening.

Wood fireplaces are usually difficult to put out, and it gives you a reason to want to leave the wood to burn out overnight.

The heat from the fire will also keep the cold out and keep you warm, but it is a danger to your home if you keep it running through the night.

Using a gas-burning fireplace might seem less dangerous due to the comfort and warmth you are getting from the fireplace. However, it is risky to leave it going through the night.

The warmth a fireplace produces is a valid point to let your fireplace burn overnight, but there are more significant reasons why you should put it off before sleeping.      

Can I Leave a Wood Burning Insert Overnight?            

You can leave wood-burning inserts burning overnight, though you might have to take precautions to prevent fire hazards.

Wood fireplace insert systems give your wood fireplace an enclosure that increases the heating capacity of your fireplace. 

It also reduces the amount of toxic smoke that drifts from the open wood fireplace, increasing the burning efficiency of the wood.

Though you can leave wood-burning inserts burning overnight, it might be risky because unattended fires can quickly light up a home, endangering you and your home. 

To prevent this, take proper precautions if you must leave the fire burning overnight. Some of these precautions include:

#1. Keeping Your Chimney Clean

You must keep your fireplace airway clean and free of possible flammables like oils from accumulating wood smoke residues.

Your home safety is essential, and you must be sure that your wood-burning insert will not become a fire hazard if you let it burn overnight. 

Clean your chimney at least twice a year to reduce the danger of a chimney fire. Also, remove flammable items, like kindling boxes, candles, and papers, around your fireplace.

#2. Use the Right Wood for Your Fireplace

Using the right type and size of wood for your wood-burning insert is essential if you plan to let the fireplace burn overnight.

Also, ensure the wood is not poisonous or grows close to a poisonous plant to avoid toxic smoke poisoning.

The size of the wood you stack in your fireplace is also a necessary factor to consider. Place hardwood logs of similar sizes in your wood-burning insert.

Ensure you leave as few gaps as possible to allow the fire to burn appropriately without releasing excess sparks.

#3. Dampen the Flames

If you must let your wood burning insert burn overnight, you will have to reduce the fire, so it does not cause an accident.

Light your wood-burning insert five hours before you go to sleep to build ash particles that you will need to dampen the intensity of the flames in your fireplace. 

Use a small shovel to remove the ash build-up from the fireplace and place it in an ash bucket.

Slowly pour the ash from the tray on the fire when you want to retire to dampen the fire. Use a heat-proof container to avoid scalding yourself and spilling hot ashes. 

#4. Close Your Air Vent

After reducing the intensity of the flames in your fireplace, the next safe step is to close your insert’s air vent to manage the amount of oxygen flowing to the fire.

Once you close the air vent, the wood will take longer to burn. After a while, the embers will begin to give off an orange glow, and at this point, you can let the wood-burning insert burn overnight. 

How Long Should You Have Fire in a Fireplace?            

If you use a wood-burning fireplace, you can have fire in your fireplace as long as you have wood for fueling the fireplace before going to bed.

Gas-burning fireplaces, however, are a bit different because not all types can burn continuously. Some gas-burning fireplaces can only burn for three to four hours before it turns off. 

The time you can have a fire in your fireplace depends on your fireplace. Some fireplaces installed by professionals can burn continuously as long as you are tending to them.

If you do not want to risk a fire in your fireplace for warmth at night, there are alternative ways to get heat.

Alternative Ways To Keep Warm Overnight

Other ways to keep warm during a cold night rather than leaving your gas and wood fireplace burning overnight.

These methods are safer and also provide you with warmth overnight. Some of them include:

#1. Electric Fireplace

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Despite the fireplace attached to its name, an electric fireplace does not use fire to heat your home.

Instead, it draws in cold air and heats the cold air through its electric solenoid, and pushes it to the room.

Some electric fireplaces have displays that depict the likeness of a burning furnace with logs and fire. 

This type of fireplace is safe to leave unattended because it does not require ventilation to work.

Without gas exchange for flames, you do not have to worry about toxic smoke or accidental fires in your home.

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In addition, an electric fireplace takes away most overnight fire risks and keeps you warm throughout the night.

#2. Electric Blankets

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Using an electric blanket is also an alternative to leaving your furnace running through the night. It is also a safe alternative because it does not cause any harm to you, and you can easily control it. 

The only downside to using an electric blanket is that it tends to get hot quickly and might be uncomfortable.

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Also, avoid eating or drinking while you are under the electric blanket. If you spill any liquids on the blanket, it can cause electric shock.

#3. Invest in Good Blankets

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If the above alternatives are not conducive for you, then you can stick with the traditional woolen blankets.

The human body naturally emits heat and blankets while serving as insulators, trapping and keeping your body temperature warm. 

It is the safest alternative to keep warm overnight in place of burning your fireplace overnight.

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You can also layer up if a single blanket is not enough. Traditional blankets do not have to worry about risks or maintenance. 

Can I Leave My Gas Fireplace Burning Overnight?          

You should not leave your gas fireplace burning overnight if the gas fireplace is vent-free or if it has glass doors rather than permanently sealed panels.

If you leave your gas-burning fireplace unattended, it could exude dangerous gasses or cause dangerous fire hazards. 

Leaks from your gas fireplace mean toxic gas and combustion waste poisonous to humans or animals.

Generally, it is not safe to let your gas-burning fireplace through the night. One of the gasses, carbon monoxide, can be dangerous and go undetected if you have smoke detectors in your home. 

Fire accidents can occur if you leave an improperly sealed gas and unattended fireplace burning for too long.

However, these potential hazards depend on the model of your gas fireplace and its mechanism.

Moreover, there are various gas-burning furnaces, each with a slightly different mechanism, so consult your manual.

Is It Safe To Leave Embers in a Fireplace Overnight?            

It is not safe to leave hot glowing embers in your fireplace overnight. While it may seem harmless, the embers only need a small amount of air to reignite.

These embers can cause life-threatening accidents if you are not monitoring the fire. Once the embers in your fireplace radiate less or no glow, it is safe to leave them overnight.

Before you light your fireplace, ensure you know how long you will be with the fire while it is burning to avoid forcefully extinguishing it. Do not start a fire two hours before going to bed. 

Pros and Cons of Leaving Your Fireplace Burning Overnight

Though overnight fireplace burning will keep your home warm, it is not safe as it can cause a life-threatening fire hazard.

Here are some of the benefits and downsides of leaving your fireplace burning through the night:

It serves as a design element in your living areaIt releases toxic fumes if left unattended
It provides warmth during cold winter daysIt can cause a fire hazard
It serves as a source of light in case of a power outageIt negatively affects your health


Leaving your fireplace running through the night might provide warmth but can lead to a life-threatening fire accident in your home.

If you must run your fireplace overnight, ensure it is an electric fireplace and install smoke detectors around your home to warn you of any toxic fumes.

However, it is better to be safe and extinguish the fire before sleeping.

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