There’s nothing like snuggling up in front of a warm fire on a cold day. Although a fireplace is a home appliance that embodies cosiness and warmth, fire is not something that one can take lightly. So, here are some key tips you should keep in mind for using your fireplace safely. (Information Credit – https://www.theoriginalflame.com/fireplaces)
1. Clear the area around the fireplace and chimney. Always make sure your fireplace is clean with no litter blocking the chimney. Check your roof for leaves that have fallen from nearby trees or any obstructions like birds’ nests that could block the chimney and cause smoke to come back into your home. Litters too close to the fireplace could cause a fire. Using a chimney cap helps keeping your chimney clean and water damage free.
2. Make sure the fire is fully extinguished before cleaning out the fireplace as hot ash can still flare up even over a day later. Hold your hand over the ashes to feel for warmth, and then shovel out the ashes from the bottom of the pile, and test those for warmth too. Do not vacuum ash unless you can be certain that all the ashes are cold. A misting of water can also make fine ash a lot easier to sweep up and less likely to blow around. Ash or creosote should be cleaned at least once a year. There are a number of creosote removers that can help you in cleaning.
3. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby your fireplace and place smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the house. Regularly test the detectors and batteries. Always check that the extinguisher is in good working condition and that all in your family knows how to operate it.
4. Fireplaces should not be used as furnaces and should never be left unattended for a long time. Do not burn garbage, Christmas trees, or heaps of paper and never overload the fireplace with too many logs. If you are using a gas fireplace, always make sure the valve is closed once the fire is finished for the season.
5. Always keep combustible objects away from the fireplace and make sure all curtains, furniture, or carpets are not close enough to be damaged by a spark. You should store your logs and coals at a distance of at least three feet from the fire and do away with any combustible stuff and carpets. An incombustible carpet, which you can get at fireplace supply stores, keeps sparks from damaging carpet or flooring. Also, fireplace doors should always be kept closed when the fireplace is not in use to keep small children and pets out of the firebox.
6. You should always remember to clean your fireplace thoroughly at least once a year. Cleaning the doors and fan helps in removing any built-up smog and ensures smooth air circulation.
Keeping these tips in mind will allow you and your family to enjoy your fireplace for years to come.