Being snuggled up in a cozy blanket, sipping warm apple cider, while relaxing by the fire is a perfect fall evening. Do you have a wood-burning fireplace? If so, this blog is for you! Fall has officially started, and as we begin to approach the cooler months be sure to be safe when using your wood-burning fireplace.
These terrific tips will help you avoid potential fireplace hazards and keep you and your family safe the next time you start a fire.
Have Your Chimney Cleaned Regularly
When you have a wood-burning fireplace the chimney can get very dirty from soot and ash. You should have it cleaned and checked yearly. You also want to make sure you check inside your chimney between chimney sweeps to ensure you do not have any nests or animals inside it. Remember, it is also important to make sure the ashes have cooled down completely before cleaning your fireplace and disposing of them.
Make Sure Your Chimney Flue or Damper is Open
Another important thing to do when starting a fire is make sure the chimney flue or damper is open. Failure to do so will cause smoke to fill your home because the smoke cannot escape properly. For more information on how to check if the flue or damper is open, visit Vertical Chimney.
Keep Children Away from Fire
Fires are hot and it’s important to communicate that they are dangerous to kids. Make sure children are a safe distance away from the fire when wood is burning. You should also never leave a fire unattended but especially when children are around. It is also very important to make sure any lighters or matches are not left down low where children can reach.
Never Leave A Fire Unattended
It is very important to never leave a fire unattended. Fires can easily get out of control so never leave the fire unattended. Did you know it can take less than 5 minutes for a home to be engulfed by an unattended fire?
Be Careful of Anything Flammable Nearby
When using your wood burning fireplace it is important to look around the fireplace and move anything that is flammable. If you have any furniture or decorative items near the fireplace it is best to move it when you have a fire lit to avoid anything catching on fire. Even after you have put out your fire, hot embers and ashes could still cause nearby flammable material to ignite.
Make Sure Your Wood is Dry
It is important to make sure you are using dry wood in the fireplace. Wet wood can cause a large amount of smoke but will also be very difficult to burn.
Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
In any home you live in, is it important to have Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors. Make sure your batteries are changed regularly and you test your detectors. A wood burning fireplace can have embers that reignite causing a fire. A smoke detector will hopefully help you catch this prior to a fire getting out of control.
There are many different hazards that result from a wood burning fireplace but some of them can be avoided. Be sure to follow these tips to make sure you are keeping your family safe and home free of potential hazards the next time you start a fire. Fall is the perfect time of year to snuggle up next to a beautiful fire, enjoy your wood burning fireplace and stay safe.
Ellingwood Pro home inspections include fireplaces and chimneys. For more on what is covered during our inspections, visit here.