In the US alone, heating systems at home are one of the main sources of fire. They take away many lives a year and cost household billions of dollars to fix damaged properties. These heating systems include a fireplace and electric heaters. Hence, fireplace safety is an extremely important factor if you want to prevent a fire and keep everybody in your family safe. Not to mention that you don’t have to worry much about its potential risks and can fully enjoy the warmth and coziness of the fireplace.
So, in case you want to use your fireplace safely and properly, read on to learn more about the most important safety tips below.
Before: Tips you should follow before you start using your fireplace
First of all, you need to install a smoke or CO detector inside your house. These devices are very useful, especially when your family members go to sleep at night.
CO is a life-threatening poisonous gas. However, it is really hard to detect – since it has no odor, taste or color. CO can release slowly and gradually make you lose consciously- it will then kill you while you are sleeping peacefully. Hence, having a CO and smoke detector in your house is necessary, and you will be signaled when you are still conscious enough to have proper actions.
Before you start using your new fireplace, make sure you have it cleaned and checked by an expert whether it is safe to be used.
In case you start to use an existing fireplace, it also needs to be cleaned and maintained. You should have a fireplace technician to inspect for any failure or damage to the system and fix it as soon as possible. Also, he would help you to remove the creosote buildup. Creosote inside the fireplace is very dangerous, and it could catch and spread the fire quickly.
It is important to have your heating system checked frequently.
You should never go for cheap or too much-discounted services. Like anything else on the market, if one thing is too good to be true, there might be something wrong with it.
Keep all of the combustible stuff far away from the fireplace. Last but not least, you should put a fireplace screen in front of the fireplace. It would help to separate the fireplace and prevent hot burning sparks from finding their ways to your furniture. The worst scenario would be that a spark could get into a combustible thing and cause a fire- which you would never want to happen, right?
During: What to remember when you have a fireplace on fire
Most important of all, you should always remember to use your fireplace for its intended purposes only. To be more specific, you should only use it to light up and warm up your room. Don’t use it to burn anything including garbage at all as it could burst and lead to a strong fire.
Only use seasonal woods. Don’t burn the Christmas tree or any wood that has been processed and treated before. So, if the wood is painted or stained, you should not use it inside a fireplace.
Also, the safest ignition materials to be used are a match or lighter on a newspaper lit. You should never use kerosene or gas. These powerful accelerants are explosive, which can lead to a fire in a short amount of time- too quick for you to do anything.
Furthermore, you should never overload the fireplace. While the woods are burning inside the fireplace, make sure it does not get over hot. When the fireplace gets too hot, it will lead to a chimney fire, which can lead to a big combustion and can burn down the house.
Also, remember always keep your eye on it for the ultimate fireplace safety. If you have to go away for a while, you should come back to it regularly. Don’t go away from it for a long time if there is no one besides watching over the fireplace.
After: Pay attention to the remaining ashes and deal with them carefully for fireplace safety
After you finish using your fireplace, make sure you take out ash on a regular basis. However, this task is quite hazardous and dangerous. If you don’t have enough skills and the right techniques, you might accidentally put your house in a fire. It is worth remembering that even after a few days; these ashes can still be hot enough to incur a fire.
So, make sure that you only place these ashes that you are going to throw away in a non-combustible container. It is the best if this container has a lid to cover these ashes.
NB: Never place the ashes inside a wooden box or put the ash container near a wooden porch.
Pour a little bit of water all over these ashes and then place the box in a dry, cool place, away from any heat source or combustible material.
After all, it is very important to follow these safety actions to keep your wood burning fireplace as safest as possible. Only when you know for sure that it is safe and doesn’t pose any potential fire hazard that you can enjoy sitting near it and have much fun as you can. These actions are not too hard to follow, and I hope that with my article, you would be able to do them without any difficulty.