Friday, January 27, 2017

Reducing the Dangers of Fireplace Flames

by Emily Goff

There is nothing quite like the feeling of entering a toasty home after being out in the cold of winter, even if just for the single minute it takes to walk from the car to the front door. There is also nothing quite like the feeling of a nice, toasty fire in the fireplace and warming up among family and friends. However, there are many dangers that are involved when using a fireplace, and it is critical to remember the following tips if you wish to keep your house and loved ones safe.

  1. Use wood that is both dry and seasoned and ensure an adequate amount of time, typically around a year, has passed since it was cut. Be mindful of the trees that burn in the safest manner – oak tends to be a reliable type for many people. Never experiment with different materials other than wood in the fireplace – a single piece of a wrong material could fill the room in burning-hot sparks or maybe even worse.
  2. Chimney upkeep must be strictly regulated. Be sure to dust away the layers of ashes that accumulate at the bottom, Also, arrange to have a professional inspect your fireplace to ensure it is safe.
  3. Crack open a window, even just the slightest bit, to ease the clouding of stifling smoke throughout the room while the fire is ablaze.
  4. A fire screen made of glass or metal should be put up whenever a person is not tending the fire. Beware of the intense heat of fire screens.
  5. Flammable items such as paper, rugs, and clothing need to remain a safe distance from the flames.
  6. If necessary, mark a line at least three feet away from the hearth with masking tape that very young children cannot cross. Do not let infants, toddlers, and pets out of sight under these particular circumstances.
  7. Your home must have a functioning fire extinguisher that everyone in the house knows the location of, as well as an established fire escape plan. A frenzy of panic and confusion could be fatal if the worst possible scenario, a home fire, arises. Knowing where to go, what to do, and whom to follow in the case of a fire could ultimately save your life.
  8. Do not abandon the room until every last ember has died. Proceed to securely shut the glass door of the fireplace when finished.
Pretty manageable, right?

Ultimately, the peace of mind gained from following these eight guidelines is well worth the trouble and time. We have a long time until Spring, so make sure to master these tips to keep your house and loved ones safe and sound environment while staying warm in the midst of this long and chilly season!

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