Your fireplace looks beautiful and adds warmth to your home. It can also be a fire hazard, though. Protect your home and family as you enjoy the beautiful ambiance when you follow a fireplace maintenance schedule and implement safety tips this winter.
Check the Chimney
An essential part of your fireplace, the chimney needs a thorough inspection once a year. Hire a professional to look for cracks and other damage and to clean out combustible buildup like creosote. Then, secure a spark-arrestor screen to the chimney as you prevent dangerous sparks from escaping and damaging animals from entering.
Start the Fire Safely
Before you light a relaxing fire, open the flue. Start the fire with only approved materials like newspaper and dry logs. Once you have the fire going, don’t use it to burn holiday gift wrapping or grill food.
Maintain the Screen or Door
Every fireplace needs a safety screen or glass door. It prevents sparks from flying into your home and discourages your children or pets from reaching into the fireplace. Ensure the screen is constantly in place and free from any damage as you reduce accidental burns and other injuries.
Flammable rugs, draperies, paper and other combustibles should be located at least three feet away from the fireplace. Otherwise, these combustible materials could cause a fire.
Use the Right Tools
Metal tools safely adjust logs and remove ash. Store them near the fireplace (but out of your children’s reach!)
Provide Proper Supervision
Always supervise your fire. If left unattended, sparks could start a fire in your home or your children or pets could walk into the bright but hot embers.
Remove Ash and Coal Properly
A one-inch layer of ash in the firebox insulates the fire. To remove excess ash or coals, wait until they’re completely cool. Use an ash vacuum or metal shovel, and place the materials in a secure metal container outdoors.
You’ll safely enjoy your fireplace all season when you use proper fireplace maintenance procedures. For more fireplace safety tips, visit This Old House online. Keeping your home in top condition can actually help reduce your insurance premiums. Give us a call today to update your home insurance policy and provide a layer of protection for your family and house.