A fireplace is a wonderful feature in any home and can create that warm, homey feeling on a chilly winter evening. Whether you have a wood-burning fireplace or a gas fireplace, there are a few important precautions and safety measures to follow every time you use your fireplace. Remember, safety is key.
Maintain The Flame
If your home is older, you should especially verify that the fireplace and hearth are up to date. It is important as well as required that the hearth is the specific size of your fireplace so that it prevents sparks or embers from the fire hitting the carpet or wood floors and starting a fire. You should also make sure that you have appropriate metal doors or a mesh curtain that will keep the fire and any sparks inside the fireplace itself.
Keep anything that is flammable away from the fireplace including: paper, blankets, furniture, or anything else that could easily catch fire. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, keep the wood in a different location where a stray spark or ember won’t reach it. The same goes for kindling or anything you use to start the fire.
Yearly Chimney Sweep
In a wood-burning fireplace, a substance known as creosote can build up on the inside of the chimney, putting you at risk for a dangerous chimney fire. Every year before the winter season begins, it is a good rule of thumb to have a professional chimney sweep clean out your chimney. They should also inspect everything to ensure your fireplace is functioning properly. Be sure to clean out ashes and soot from the fireplace regularly; this is good recommended every time you use it.
When it comes to a gas fireplace there is also some maintenance to consider. You should have a chimney sweep perform a yearly inspection and cleaning of the inside of your fireplace, especially in hard to reach places like the fan. They should also make certain that the gas lines and ignition switch are working properly.
Keep An Eye Out For Children
If you have children or have children at your home while using the fireplace, it is crucial that you use caution. Never leave a child unattended in a room with a lit fireplace. Be certain that lighters and matches are always kept well out of reach. Before you start the fire burning season, sit down with your children and discuss the safety rules for the fireplace, making sure they understand the dangers.
Your fireplace can provide warmth and ambiance, and will serve you well for a long time as long as you take care of it. Keep up on maintenance and ensure that everything is safe and up to code before you use your fireplace.