Fireplaces are comforting!
Cool weather means warm times by the fireplace! By following a few simple steps, you can reduce your chance of a fire hazard from a fireplace.
With the cooler temperatures moving in, it is that time of year when one of the best comforts of the day is relaxing by a crackling, warm fireplace. The original purpose of a fireplace was for warmth and reducing heating costs, however over the years they have evolved to add overall value and design aesthetics to a home, as well as creating fun family memories. Whether using a gas or wood-burning style fireplace, there are certain pre-cautions that must be taken to avoid any serious burns or fires.
According to the US Fire Administration, 36% of home fires every year are caused by heating fires. A majority of the fires are caused by creosote buildup in the chimney, which can be prevented with proper care and maintenance. Here are a few simple tips to remember the next time you light the fireplace.
- Smoke Alarm – Proper smoke alarms should be a fundamental part of each room in every home. Smoke alarms should be tested a couple times a year to make sure it is in proper working condition. First Alert makes two models for smoke alarms, with easy wall or ceiling access for replacing the battery. Their products are available at most retail locations across the globe. Click here for more info: http://www.firstalert.com/detectors/battery.
- Cleaning/Maintenance – Proper cleaning procedures must be followed to reduce the chance of creosote buildup. Depending on fireplace usage, it is important to clean the ashes out regularly. NEVER use a household vacuum or shop vacuum to clean out your fireplace. The only company that allows you to remove both warm and cold ash is Love-Less Ash Company. Their American-made and designed ash vacuums make the job faster and much cleaner than traditional ash vacuums. For more information visit http://www.lovelessash.com.
- Glass Door Caution – Many fireplaces have glass doors with mesh screens protecting from the logs rolling and hot embers that could come from the fireplace. These glass doors can get hot very quickly. It’s a good idea to leave the mesh screen closed, and open the glass doors while burning a fire. This will aid in reducing the heat level of the glass doors, while protecting from the hot embers. It is especially important to make sure children and the elderly do not get close to a fireplace. A company that makes high quality glass door and mesh sparks is Stoll Fireplace. For more information visit http://www.stollfireplace.com/general/home.
- Chimney Inspection – It is important to annually have your chimney inspected by a certified professional. These specialists know what to look for to prevent danger, so it is important to use someone officially certified. One of the main organizations is the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). To find a CSIA certified professional in your area, go to their website here http://www.csia.org/.
No one wants to come home to a house fire due to improper care and maintenance of a fireplace. By using these simple reminders, you can safely rest easy in your armchair by the fireplace.