As days get colder and colder, it’s important we prepare for winter. If you’re one of those lucky people who have a fireplace at home, it’s about to get a lot of use. And that’s great, because you’ll be able to save energy and keep your bills low. However, it’s important to practice safety, so here are a few tips you help you out!
Fireplace Safety Tips to Practice During the Holidays
1. Keep your fireplace maintained
It’s important that you keep up with your fireplace’s maintenance, otherwise it can be dangerous once you start to use it. Chimneys are recommended to be swept once a year, have you done that? If you haven’t, you’ll need to so you can remove all the debris and soot. Another thing you should do every year is check that the chimney cover is secure so you don’t have to deal with animals or outside debris. Make these things a yearly habit and you’ll be much safer.
2. Stock up on seasoned hardwood
Seasoned hardwood should always be your first choice when you’re stocking up for the winter. Seasoned wood means it has been dry for at least six months and it’s quite dense, so it’s perfect to keep your fire burning smoothly. Plus, seasoned hardwood creates less dark and thick smoke, which leads to build-up. Also, remember not to put too much wood in when you’re setting up your fireplace. A small fire means less smoke and less heat, which helps you prevent cracking and soot build-up.
3. Prepare the area surrounding the fireplace
This is one of the fireplace safety tips you need to pay more attention to. You need to make sure the area that surrounds the fireplace is prepared for the winter. That means you should remove any hangings, furniture or decorations that are too close to the fireplace. I don’t mean you shouldn’t decorate your fireplace for the holidays, just make sure you take these things down when you’re building your fire. Also, make sure your home is prepared as well by checking that your smoke alarm works perfectly, especially the one closest to the fireplace.
4. Get a carbon monoxide alarm
Having a smoke alarm is great, but also having a carbon monoxide alarm is better. Slow burning fires can lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide, so you should definitely get an alarm for this because otherwise this dangerous gas is undetectable until it is sometimes too late. They’re a little expensive, yes, but they’re a great investment, especially when you consider that they’re really easy to maintain and they will give you a lot of peace of mind.
5. Always clean your hearth
Every time you make a fire, make sure you clean your hearth afterwards. Remove all debris and ashes and dispose of them safely. Wait for them to cool down first and then add a little water before throwing them out.
Fireplaces are wonderful and they allow you to create a cozy environment for your family on cold winter nights. Make sure it’s safe for everyone!