When it’s cold outside, nothing sounds better than curling up on the couch in front of the warm fireplace with a good book or your favorite TV show. But before you use your fireplace this season, be sure to take these necessary fireplace safety steps to help ensure you’ll be enjoying it all winter long.
7 Fireplace Safety Tips for Families
1. Keep It Clean
A fireplace offers warmth and creates a welcoming ambiance, but if it’s not well-cared for, it can present fire safety concerns. These cleaning tips can prevent fireplace hazards:
- Have the chimney cleaned annually, as buildup in the flue can be dangerous.
- Clean the firebox between fires. It’s a good idea to discard the ashes once they have cooled.
- Check the chimney regularly to ensure nests haven’t been built in it and that it is clear and free from blockages.
2. Use a Screen
A fireplace safety screen can prevent debris and embers from escaping the fireplace. A fireplace safety gate can also help keep kids at a safe distance. The safety gate can be used for both woodburning fireplaces and gas fireplaces.
3. Reduce the Smoke
A smoky house isn’t ideal. You want the warm, inviting fire but not a smoke-filled house this winter and holiday season. To help prevent a smoky house:
- Select the right type of wood to burn. It’s recommended to use dry and well-aged wood. Using wet or green wood could cause more smoke. Dried wood burns with less smoke and more evenly.
- Use smaller pieces of wood versus large chunks. The smaller pieces will burn faster and reduce smoke.
4. Look for Flammable Risks
Before you use your fireplace, make sure there’s nothing placed in front or around it that could catch on fire. Look for things like curtains, decorations, books, furniture, etc.
5. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
While you may never use it, having a fire extinguisher nearby is a must. You never know when you might need it.
6. Never Leave an Active Fireplace Unattended
Even leaving a fire unattended for a few minutes can be dangerous, especially with kids in the house. Before going to bed or leaving the house, make sure the fire is completely put out.
7. Talk Fire Safety With Kids
Educating children on the safety risks of fires and the heat that fires produce is important for keeping them safe. Spending time around the warm fireplace is a great way to enjoy family time and creating a safe environment is key.
This winter and beyond be sure your home and family are fire safety prepared. It’s also important to ensure your home is properly protected with homeowners coverage. Connect with a local Farm Bureau agent today!