With cooler weather approaching, your fireplace is starting to look appealing. Sitting in front of a nice crackling fire sounds great on a cool night. You can be warm and cozy and leave the heater off. Before you get your wood, lighter, or matches out, make sure your fireplace and your family are safe.
Check out these fireplace safety tips before you use your fireplace this season.
- Have your fireplace inspected once a year by a professional. They’ll check the interior and exterior for wear and tear or damage and catch problems before they cause damage.
- Have your chimney inspected once a year, too. Any cracks or other damage can be caught and repaired before you use your fireplace.
- Schedule a chimney cleaning each year. Make sure debris, like leaves, branches, and even nests, are removed.
- Ask your chimney cleaner about creosote. This is a byproduct of previous fires. If it builds up too much it can catch fire while your fireplace is in use. They should clean out any creosote buildup they see.
- Keep a window cracked while you have a fire going. This allows extra oxygen to flow into your home.
- Open the damper and flue while the fire is crackling.
- Avoid using green or wet wood for your fire. Old, aged wood burns much better.
- Clean ashes from previous fires out of the fireplace before starting a new fire.
- Stack wood and kindling away from the fireplace to reduce the chance of sparks jumping out and hitting the floor, furniture, or family members.
- Use smaller pieces of wood for your fire. They burn more easily and cause less smoke.
- Keep the area around your fireplace clear. Move furniture, books, magazines, toys, plants, and other household items away from the fireplace.
- Teach your children to stay away from the fire and the dangers fires can pose.
- Never leave small children unattended while a fire is burning or smoldering.
- Consider adding a safety screen to the front of your fireplace to prevent anyone from getting too close. This is a good idea even if your fireplace has a glass covering.
- Keep a fire extinguisher close by and make sure it’s in good working condition.
- Make sure your smoke alarms work properly. Replace the batteries every six months.
- Keep lighters, matches, and other fireplace supplies out of reach of children.
Before you light the first fire this fall or winter, make sure you have your fireplace and chimney inspected, repaired, and clean. You’ll prevent problems before they begin and have a better experience with your fireplace. A crackling fire can be nice and soothing, but extra smoke and fire hazards cause damage and health problems.
Fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide alarms in your home are excellent safety features whether you use a fireplace or not. The safer you make your home, the more you reduce the risk of accidents. If you’ve added new safety features to your home recently, give us a call at Charlotte Insurance. We’ll find out if you’re eligible for any discounts on your homeowners insurance.