Who doesn’t love sitting around a crackling fireplace when it’s cold outside? Not only do fireplaces provide warmth, but they also create an amazing cozy atmosphere. It’s important to remember, however, that like all sources of heat, fires are a potential hazard, even when contained in a fireplace.
To make sure your home is safe all winter long, it’s important that everybody in your home understands fire safety and that caution is used every time a fire is in the hearth.
Here are a few fireplace tips to keep your home warm and safe throughout the heating season.
- Before lighting the first fire, have your fireplace inspected and cleaned. This typically needs to be done by a professional.
- Before starting a fire, make sure the damper is open. This not only allows the fire to start and burn well, but it also prevents the buildup of dangerous carbon monoxide. When the fire is completely extinguished, you can close it to keep the warm air inside.
- Make sure you only use dry, aged wood. If you use wet or green wood, then it will create more soot, which is a fire hazard.
- Ash is a fire and safety hazard, so make sure you clean it out regularly.
- Before starting a fire, make sure to clear the area of anything that’s flammable. This includes curtains, blankets, magazines, and fire-starting materials.
- Use a fireplace screen to make sure no embers or sparks escape the fireplace.
- Have a fire extinguisher handy and make sure everyone knows where it is and how to use it.
- Install smoke detectors throughout your home and make sure you test the batteries monthly.
You should also consider installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home, especially near sleeping areas. And last but not least, never leave a fire unattended, even in your fireplace. All it takes is one ember to start a fire!