Fireplace Safety: Wood, Gas, Electric—Oh My!
Home heating equipment, like fireplaces, is the leading cause of fire deaths in residences.
Whether you’re using a wood-burning, gas, or electric fireplace, take safety precautions to prevent home heating-related accidents. Below, we list some simple fireplace safety tips you can use to prevent accidents from occurring inside your home.
Fireplace Safety Tips
Keep these safety tips in mind when enjoying your home’s fireplace during the winter months:
- Keep flammable belongings at least three feet away from your fireplace.
- When using wood burning fireplaces, only use dry, cured wood, meaning logs that have been split and dried for at east eight months. Uncured wood contains moisture, which creates lots of smoke and unsafe chemicals when burned.
- Keep a fire extinguisher close by at all times. House fires can become life threatening in less than two minutes. If an accident were to occur, you’d want to have quick and easy access to your extinguisher.
- Have a qualified professional inspect your heating equipment and chimneys every year.
- Create a three-foot “kid-free zone” around your fireplace when in use.
- Include a sturdy screen in front of your fireplace to stop sparks from flying out.
- Clean out the ashes in your fireplace before making a new fire. Let ashes cool, then place them in a metal container a safe distance from your home.
- Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a month and change the batteries once every year.
- Use a flashlight to look up into your chimney to make sure the damper or flue is open prior to starting a fire. The damper or flue draws smoke out of a house.
- Never leave an active fireplace unattended. Before going to bed or leaving your house, make sure the fire is completely out.
- Create a home fire escape plan so you and your family are prepared if a fire accident were to occur.
Minimize Fire Accidents and Damages With a Monitored Solution
House fires can spread quickly. A small flame can turn into a major fire in less than 30 seconds. If a fire were to occur in your home, you’ll want to respond as quickly as possible.
Ask your security provider about a monitored fire protection solution. Should an emergency occur, an alarm sounds to alert you. At the same time, our award-winning 24/7 Monitoring Center operators are immediately notified so they can send the appropriate emergency services to keep you, your loved ones and home safe.
How do you safely use your fireplace during the colder months? Share in the comments below.