How To Avoid Fireplace Hazards This Winter
"Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful!" Few lyrics were ever so true than those from this beloved Christmas tune. There really is nothing better than curling up on the couch under a blanket and enjoying the warmth and crackling of a fire when winter months bring icy days.
While it may seem simple enough to chop up some fire wood, stack it in the chimney and let it burn until it dies out at night - there are many safety measures you should consider in order to avoid an accident in your home. It is important to maintain your chimney properly as to not put your family or others at risk.
You should hire a company to sweep your chimney at least once a year. If you live in a colder region and use your chimney more frequently, you may need to have it swept two or even three times a year. The United States Fire Administration suggests also having your fireplace and chimney inspected once a year to make sure it is still in good condition.
While the fire is burning, be sure to place a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace. Not only is this a good precaution in a home with children or pets, it will also prevent sparks and embers from coming out of the fireplace and potentially catching a blanket or carpet on fire.
It is important that once the fire starts to die down, do not go to bed without sweeping out the ashes and disposing of them properly. It may look like there is no fire, but hot ashed and embers can still be burning and pose a risk of causing a fire while you are not in the room. When you sweep them from the fireplace, place them in a metal container and dispose of them somewhere away from flammable materials.