Now that winter is coming around, do you remember your basic fireplace safety? Some of us are confident about our fireplace safety knowledge. But it won’t hurt to review some safety practices from time to time.
The fireplace is the heart of the home, often made the central point of dens and living rooms. Although fireplaces are no longer necessary in modern homes, having one can provide extra warmth and comfort in the house, especially in the winter months. Winters usually reach negative values, so if you have fireplaces in your living rooms and outdoor kitchens in Salt Lake City or any other city, here are the safety tips you need to remember:
1. Keep fireplaces and chimney clean
Unkempt fireplaces and chimneys are potential fire hazards. Before the winter comes, contact professional cleaners to remove excess debris and soot in your fireplaces and chimneys. It is also important to keep the surrounding area of the hearth free from combustible materials, such as decorations, rugs, and debris.
2. Avoid using inappropriate wood
Wood that is wet, moldy, or rotten can give off toxic fumes when ignited. Damp wood also burns out quicker than dry wood, so make sure you use only healthy, non-diseased firewood.
3. Never use chemicals
You should use chemicals (e.g. gasoline, kerosene) to start your fire. Instead of chemicals, use newspaper, pine cones, or dry kindling to ignite the firewood. Chemicals can emit toxic fumes when burned and can also be a potential fire hazard.
4. Check your fire extinguisher
Don’t forget to check the expiry date on your fire extinguisher. Make sure you keep it in a place near the hearth as well. It’s also ideal to keep multiple fire extinguishers in different parts of the house just in case.
5. Keep glass doors open and screens closed
When the fireplace is lit, keep the glass doors open to allow enough oxygen in the fireplace. On the other hand, ensure that your screens are always closed to keep embers from falling out of the fireplace.
6. Don’t leave the fireplace unattended
Both indoor and outdoor fireplaces should never be left unattended. Before leaving the house or going to sleep, extinguish the fire properly. You can do this by smothering the fire with ash, poking around the embers, and spreading baking soda over the fire. After the ashes have cooled, transfer them in a covered metal container to store outside.
7. Never throw objects into the fireplace
Be aware of what not to burn in the fireplace. Things like plastics, Christmas trees, cardboard, paper with colored print, and driftwood should never be tossed in the fire. As a general rule, put firewood in the hearth and nothing else.
8. Store firewood properly
Stack and store firewood at least 30 feet away from your house. If possible, buy firewood for next year’s use to ensure that they are thoroughly dry. When storing firewood, make sure you cover the top but allow openings on the side for air circulation.
Every homeowner should be well-versed in fireplace safety to avoid fumes or fires from ruining your holidays. Before winter comes, be sure to keep these tips in mind.