One of the great joys of winter is having a working fireplace in your home. What could be more sublime than cozying up to a crackling fire and reading a good book, solving a jigsaw puzzle, or taking a nap in your favorite chair? Fireplaces can also be romantic and are a great family gathering place. If you have a gas fireplace, you can have all of the benefits of a wood burning fireplace without having to continually replace firewood. But whatever fireplace you have, you need to make sure you’re operating it safely. As we reach the height of the winter season, Tragar Home Services wants to make sure you’re protecting your family from harm, so we want to offer you these fireplace safety tips.
Fireplace Safety for Children
If you have children, you should take special precautions before you build a fire or start to operate a fireplace. The American Academy of Pediatrics website recommends, keeping a window open a crack while the fire is burning. It’s also critical that you make certain that your damper or flue is open before you start the fire so smoke will be drawn out of your home.
Make sure to use dry and well aged wood because damp and green wood adds to soot buildup in the chimney. Never leave a fireplace unattended and keep fireplace tools and accessories out of the reach of children. You should also talk to your children as early as you can to educate them about the possible dangers of fire.
Keeping Your Wood Burning Fireplace Safe
If you have a wood burning fireplace, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) also makes several suggestions. They include remembering to have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually. It’s also important to make sure you have both a smoke and carbon monoxide detector with working batteries. Clear the area in front of your fireplace at least two feet, being especially careful of flammable materials such as books, newspapers or magazines, and furniture. Keep pets away from the fire as well.
When you light the fire make sure you’ve cleaned the ashes from any previous fire. Use a fireplace grate and close the fire screen. when it’s in use. Keep glass doors open during a fire. Make sure your fire is completely out before you go to bed or leave home. Don’t close the damper until the fire’s embers have completely stopped burning.
Taking Care of a Gas Fireplace
It’s very important that you do regular maintenance on your chimney and have an annual inspection. This is also true if you own a gas fireplace. Make sure you have regular maintenance done to ensure that your vents are unobstructed. Like those who own wood burning fireplaces, and all homeowners for that matter, it’s important to make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector. You also need to make sure the fan and air circulation passages are clean.
Tragar Home Services Are Oil to Gas Conversion Experts
Owning a working fireplace can make your home more comfortable and attractive, but it’s critical that you take fire safety seriously. If you have a gas fireplace or thinking of getting one, and haven’t converted from oil to gas heat, Tragar Home Services can help. We’re also the place to go for maintenance on your heating system. Contact us today.