Time to fire it up and be safe
For fireplace and stove owners, fall is an exciting time — it means that most fireplaces will soon be used for the first time since last season, and family and friends gather around the hearth for warmth and coziness. It is crucial that fireplace owners take the appropriate precautions to ensure their appliance is ready to be used safely.
In recognition of National Fireplace Month, we are promoting the most important consideration: fireplace safety. The two most popular types of fireplaces are gas fireplaces and wood-burning fireplaces. While some safety measures are similar for both, like ensuring your home is outfitted with smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, there are a few key differences. An informed fireplace owner is a safer homeowner.
Safety for Wood-Burning Fireplaces
About 47 percent of hearths, including fireplaces, burn wood. People love wood-burning fireplaces for many reasons – the pleasure of building fires, the crackling sounds, and the natural scents of wood. Wood-burning fireplaces require your involvement, and there are several ways to ensure it’s a safe experience for everyone.
Building and Enjoying Fires
Be picky about the wood you burn. To avoid smoke and minimize creosote build-up in your chimney, make sure it’s dry and seasoned properly. Be sure your fireplace has a safety barrier screen or curtain to prevent embers from leaving the firebox.
Fully understand how your fireplace works. The flue (or damper) must be open before starting fires, or you will have a house full of smoke. Keep it open until the fire is diminished and all embers are completely burned.
Don’t leave the house or go to bed with a fire still burning. If you leave the room and have small children, have someone watch them or take them with you.
Remove ash from the firebox between fires. When ash forms a thick layer, it can restrict airflow and cause smoke.
Have your chimney swept annually to avoid creosote build-up, which can lead to dangerous chimney fires.
Safety for Gas Fireplaces
Of all hearth products, approximately 37 percent are fueled by gas. Gas is convenient, doesn’t require much interaction or maintenance, and the fuel is relatively inexpensive. There are a few necessary safety precautions to keep top of mind.
All gas inserts should have a safety barrier screen on the glass, as it can get very hot. Screens reduce the risk of serious burns by preventing skin from coming into direct contact with the glass.
All parts of a fireplace can get hot, so keep children and pets a safe distance away.
Fireplaces remain hot even after they are turned off, so continue to use caution until it’s completely cooled.
Fireplaces have earned the reputation as one of the most requested home amenities today.
We want you to enjoy the warmth and glow! Let us help keep you safe and warm this fall and winter.