The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that 75% of confined home heating fires occur in the chimney and flue of your fireplace. Nevertheless, performing simple safety practices and maintenance on your fireplace can help keep your fireplace in good condition, ensuring your family and home stay safe. Here are some top fireplace safety tips to consider.
- Keep it clear. Clear out any debris from the fireplace and keep all flammable items like furniture, blankets and papers a safe distance away at all times.
- Inspect the chimney. Have a certified chimney specialist inspect and clean your chimney annually to reduce the risk of fire hazards and carbon monoxide buildup.
- Start the fire safely. Never burn charcoal or use lighter fluids to light the fire in your home, as they can cause deadly fumes and the potential for explosion.
- Don’t overload the fire. Overloading—which entails putting in more wood, paper and other ignitable materials in the fire than necessary—can overheat the walls or roof of your home. With this in mind, be sure to avoid this dangerous practice.
- Keep children away from the fireplace. Educate children about the dangers of fire to deter their curiosity and encourage them to keep a safe distance from the fireplace. In addition, consider installing a gate around the fireplace to prevent kids from getting too close.
- Put it out. Always make sure the fire is completely out in the fireplace before leaving your home or going to bed for the evening.
Don’t Forget About Detection Devices
Be sure to take extra precautions to keep your family safe from potential fireplace hazards. Specifically, if you burn fires often, consider installing new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. That way, you will be able to detect fire hazards as quickly as possible and minimize any household damages.
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