12 July 2017

How To Ensure You’re Using Fireplaces Safely

Modern indoor heating has made homes more comfortable than ever during the winter months. Despite that, however, many people still choose to use a fireplace. There is something warm and comforting about sitting in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter evening. If you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home, it is important to learn how to use it safely. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when using a fireplace ranging from smoke inhalation to carbon monoxide poisoning. Here are some tips that you should use to stay safe every time you start a fire:

Double Check That The Damper Is Open

If the flue on your fireplace is closed, the smoke won't be able to escape up the chimney. Instead, it will billow out of your fireplace into your room, filling up your entire house with smoke. Most of us have had this happen to us at one point or another and it definitely isn't a fun situation to deal with. This can be particularly problematic if you have to reach inside the fireplace itself to open the damper. In that case, you have to put out the fire and wait for the fireplace to cool down before you can take any action. Needless to say if you have an electric fireplace that mounts on the wall, such an issue is not going to be prevalent.

Don't Pile Things Around The Fireplace

Keep the area directly around the fireplace free from clutter. Avoid placing decorative accessories in the direct vicinity of the fireplace where they could get burned by flying sparks. Also, check the flooring around your fireplace. If you have carpet, you should invest in a fireproof rug to lay over the carpet. Alternatively, you could also consider installing tile directly in front of your fireplace to minimize the risk of sparks burning the surrounding area. Everything in the direct vicinity of your fireplace should be nonflammable.

Make Sure Your Home Is Well Ventilated

To prevent smoke from building up inside your home, consider opening one of your windows just a crack. Any cold air that gets inside will be drawn up the chimney by the fire. Some fireplaces have glass doors on the front. If yours does, you should leave it open when you have a fire actively burning. To keep any sparks from shooting out into the room, make sure that you keep the screen in front of the fireplace closed, however. You should always double check to make sure that the smoke is actually going up the chimney and not coming back down into the room. Keep your fireplace looking nice by removing any soot or residue from the smoke from the glass doors periodically? Dishwashing soap is great at getting rid of this unattractive grime.

Prevent Children From Getting Too Close To The Fireplace

Nothing is scarier than finding your child wandering too close to your fireplace while there is a fire burning. Even if you just turn your head for a second, children can quickly wind up getting into a dangerous situation. Along with teaching children fire safety, you should also stay with them in the room at all times while a fire is burning. Not only that, but you should avoid looking away or getting distracted since it just takes a moment for things to go wrong. Remember, the danger doesn't necessarily end when the fire is put out. There can still be hot coals that pose a risk to your children.

These fireplace safety tips should help you get the most out of your fireplace. Be sure to follow them closely to prevent any accidents or damage from occurring.

Disclosure:  This is a contributed post.

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