Who doesn’t love sitting by a cozy fireplace as the wood logs crackle and flicker, especially when the temperatures dip and Mother Nature has taken a turn for the worse? Fireplaces can be almost magical and mesmerizing in the wintertime.
However, with the pleasant sounds and smells of burning wood on a cool evening comes the responsible use of the fireplace in order to keep your home and family safe.
Since the weather is feeling more like winter than fall in the last few days, we thought it was appropriate to have a quick reminder of some winter fireplace safety reminders and wood stove safety suggestions.
Have A Regular Inspection & Cleaning
Whether you use your fireplace or wood burning stove regularly each winter, or just once or twice a year, you should have the equipment including the apparatus, flue, and chimney inspected and cleaned every year. The soot and creosote build up could be hazardous and cause a dangerous situation.
Inspections and cleaning are a small price to pay to be sure that your fireplace or wood burning stove are in good working condition before you light your next fire.
Keep the Area Clean
The area around your wood burning stove or fireplace should be completely free and clear of anything that is flammable or that could accidentally catch fire such as magazines, newspapers, books, curtains, or furniture.
Keep at least three feet around your active fire clear and free of household items. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher within reach for anything catastrophic that could occur.
Use A Fireplace Screen
Once you have started your kindling and the flames are starting to ignite, be sure to use a fireplace cover or screen to stop any stray sparks or embers from flying out of the fireplace and on to you, your rugs, or furnishings that could catch fire.
Keep Children & Pets Safe
Fires can be warm and welcoming, so much so that they may attract the attention of inquisitive children and curious pets.
Accidents can happen in an instant. Therefore, it is vital that you never leave a child or a pet in a room unattended with an active fireplace or wood burning stove. Keep fireplace tools out of reach of children and consider blocking access for your pets to the area until you are done using the fireplace.
Dispose of Ashes Properly
Just like during fire pit season, we suggested waiting for the ashes to cool before disposing of them, the same goes for wood burning stoves and fireplaces. Wait until the ashes cool and shovel them into a metal container where you can add water and dispose of properly.
Before you go to bed for the night, confirm that the fire is completely out and that the ashes are cooling in that metal container.
Check Your Fire and Smoke Alarm Systems
At Instant Alarm, we know that seconds can mean a world of difference should a fire break out at your home or business. A fire/smoke detector and alarm system can give you and your family that extra few seconds to alert you to a problem, whether it originated in your fireplace or wood stove or somewhere else in your home.
Talk to our technicians about installing a system in your home or business that can protect your investment and loved ones from a costly accident involving fireplaces this winter.
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