It’s that time of year when the weather melts and temperatures in many states drop. If you love the occasional cozy fire on your wood-burning fireplace, keep in mind that heating equipment is among the primary causes of home fires during the winter season. Furthermore, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), over a third of home heating fires in the U.S. involve fireplaces and chimneys. Below are some critical fireplace safety tips that could help prevent smoke or fire-related accident in your house during these cold months.
Fireplace Safety Tips
- Before the heating season, make sure that you hire a professional chimney sweep to inspect and remove creosote or other obstructions, for example, animal nests, from the chimney.
- Permit only a qualified professional to install chimney connectors and chimneys in your house.
- Inspect your chimney cap frequently. If it’s damaged, fix or replace it. If your chimney does not have a cap at the top, have one installed fitted with wire-mesh sides to prevent debris or animals from getting into the chimney.
- Keep all flammable objects, such as newspapers, books, holiday decorations, and furniture, at least two feet away from the fireplace.
- Make sure there is a fire extinguisher in the room.
- Use only dry, seasoned wood, cut to the correct length.
- Have a mesh metal screen or glass fireplace doors installed to prevent embers from shooting out of the fireplace.
- Utilize fireplace tools to keep the fire.
- Supervise children whenever the fireplace is being used. Remind them to keep away from the flame.
- Keep pets at a safe distance from the flame, as well.
- Always supervise the flame and never leave it burning when going to sleep or leaving the house.
- Close the damper only once the embers have cooled off.
- Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms (CO) outside each sleeping area and on every level of the house. For the best security, interconnect the CO alerts, so that if one sounds, they all do.
When beginning a fire:
- Eliminate the ashes from the preceding fire but allow them cool for several hours before disposing of them. Building a fire in addition to the ashes will lead to more smoke since it reduces the air supply to timber.
- Put the ashes into a metal container with a tight lid. Shop it outside, at least 10 feet away in the house and other buildings. Do not dump ashes in wooded areas or on yards, at least till they have completely cooled.
- Open the damper; you might need to look up into the chimney using a badge or mirror to check that it is open.
- Place crumpled newspaper onto the grate and then cover it using kindling or another fire-starter (but do not use caustic liquids to start your fire!) Insert the firewood when the kindling is burning brightly. After that, shut the fire screen.
- Do not overload the fireplace; a massive fire generates more smoke and can damage your chimney.
- Never burn plastic, garbage, or other substances which may be toxic.
For professional fire damage cleaning solutions, contact the PuroClean pros!
Despite all the proper fireplace safety measures in place, accidents can still happen. As smoke may seriously damage a home, it’s essential to get the home remediated as soon as possible. The more soot and smoke stays on a surfacer, the more harm it can do. Our smoke restoration technicians use the latest equipment and techniques to remove soot and deodorize your home following fire damage, fast and properly. For skilled fire damage cleaning services, contact your regional PuroClean office. Learn more information here about water damage restoration.