A house fire isn’t just something that happens to other people. It can happen to anyone. Fortunately, by engaging in safe practices with your fireplace or stove, you can dramatically reduce the odds of your home ever being subject to a devastating fire.
Here are nine valuable fire-safety tips.
1. Don’t smoke while in bed
Everyone who takes a cigarette, cigar or pipe to their bed thinks they won’t fall asleep, but every year, many people do just that. Make it a habit to never smoke in bed.
2. Turn off or put out fires when leaving the house
This goes for fires on your cooking stove as well as in your heating stove or fireplace. The only flame that should be burning when you’re gone is that from a pilot light for the hot water heater or heating appliance.
3. Don’t use flammable fluids to start a fireplace fire
It may seem easier to get your fires started by dousing the logs with lighter fluid or charcoal starter. You’ll get the fire started fast, all right, but you may cause an explosion or do damage to your fireplace/chimney system. Only dry wood logs should ever be burned in a fireplace or stove.
4. Teach children that fire is not a toy
Curious children are attracted to fire, and it’s up to parents to instill in them the importance of never playing with matches, lighters or fires in the fireplace. Many house fires every year are started because children had access to some kind of flame or flame-producer.
5. Have your fireplace and chimney inspected annually
Annual inspections are the best way to keep a fireplace and chimney running safely and efficiently. Your inspector will spot early signs of damage or malfunction that could lead to a fire and recommend the right repairs before the problem turns dangerous.
6. Have your chimney cleaned once a year
Smoke produces creosote, a flammable substance that clings to the walls of your chimney liner and easily can catch fire. Most chimney fires are started by ignited creosote, so make sure to have a professional chimney sweep clean your flue every year.
7. Install and maintain smoke detectors
Smoke detectors save lives. Your home should be outfitted with several of these devices placed strategically throughout. It’s a good practice to test the detectors monthly and replace the batteries every year, whether or not this is needed.
8. Keep fire extinguishers handy
Fire extinguishers also save lives. Make sure everyone in your home knows how to use them. Good places for fire extinguishers include the kitchen, near the fireplace and
in the garage.
9. Make an evacuation plan
Write out a specific plan of action to take should your house catch on fire. The plan should include the route or routes for each person to safely exit the house and the location of valuables you may have enough time to collect and remove to safety.
High’s Chimney Service of Gaithersburg, MD, supports wise fire-safety practices. We’re here to help keep your chimney and fireplace safe with certified chimney sweeping, fireplace and chimney inspections and all types of repair work for chimneys and fireplaces. Speak with a fire-safety expert today at (301) 519-3500.
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