This time of year, nothing is cozier than curling up next to the fireplace. But fair warning, this time of year, nothing is worse than a house fire. If properly cared for, a fireplace is a great way to heat your home on these cold winter nights. Fireplace safety is a top priority. Here are 8 sure-fire ways to keep the fire where it belongs.
1. KEEP IT CLEAN:
Before you fire up the bad boy, make sure you give it a good, thorough cleaning. That means all the ash and dust all the way up through the chimney. And at least yearly you should be hiring a professional to really give that chimney some attention.
2. USE THE PROPER TOOLS:
I don’t wanna see you stoking the fire with a spatula or throwing a log onto the flame without flame resistant gloves. Keep your home and yourself safe by using the proper equipment.
3. SMOKE DETECTORS:
There is a reason home inspections require functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. I know how annoying they can be when your frying a meal in the kitchen, or the steam from your hot shower sets them off. But they are there for your protection. Keep them charged and test them frequently.
4. BE PREPARED:
Be ready for worst case scenario. Make sure you are equipped with fire extinguishers and a fool proof exit plan. Get the whole family on board with exit strategies and a meet up point in case your life literally goes up in flame.
Know your wood. You should only be burning dry, dead wood. If your lumber is green or wet you will get less heat and more smoke. Smoke is damaging to the walls in your home as well as the walls of your lungs. You can also reduce smoke by using smaller logs. They burn faster, but they don’t smolder and smoke.
Know how to use your damper. Open it up before starting your fire to direct the smoke out of the house through the chimney.
Your fireplace is a lioness with a temper, give her the boundaries she needs. Make sure no furniture, curtains or belongings are stationed too close. Even when the fire has died down, sparks can still fly. Don’t give those sparks a place to land.
8. CHILD SAFETY:
Last and far from the least: keep those babies safe. Set strict rules for the family to follow; fireplace etiquette, if you will. You can try to use an appropriate, fire safe safety gate. But the oldest rule to follow usually does the trick: don’t leave a child unattended when a fire is burning.
Home fires are truly devastating disasters. If a little fireplace safety can spare you that heartache it will be well worth it. Sunrise Cleaning is here for you if things go south. We can help clean out a little smoke damage, or do a full restoration after a fire. We understand the nature of smoke and fire damage, and more importantly, we understand the emotional toll. Contact us with any questions, we can be reached 24/7 in case of emergency. Let us know how we can help you this season.