Nothing beats toasting your feet by the fire with a cup of cocoa. And while it’s popular during winter, things can go awry if you don’t take the right precautions.
For instance, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) reported over 25,000 chimney fires to cause $120 million in damage nationwide in a year. Feel you need a refresher course on fireplace safety?
If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know.
1. Clean Thoroughly
One of the most important tips for wood fireplace safety is to keep it sparkling clean. Clear away any debris like bird nests as they can leave behind parasite-infested material.
You should also clean the firebox once a week by scrubbing the grate and andirons alongside any remaining ash. Sweep away loose dust and set newspaper in your fireplace so it catches brick and flue debris.
2. Choose the Right Firewood
Fire in fireplaces must start from dried firewood otherwise it will burn unevenly and turn the room smokey. Remember, dry wood has small circular markings along with the wood’s cross-section. Hardwood like hickory, oak, and maple make the best firewood as they don’t leave much ash.
3. Get the Right Tinder and Kindling
Another one to add to your fireplace safety tips is to choose your tinder and kindling correctly. Tinder is the first thing to catch fire and is highly flammable like twisted newspaper and brown bags.
Use twigs for your kindling and lay it on top of the tinder so it stays alight long enough for the logs catch. For best results, lay twelve pieces of kindling in a crisscross formation atop the crumpled newspaper and leave a gap so the air can circulate.
4. Light Your Fire Correctly
To uphold wood burning fireplace safety, light your tinder with a long match and wait for the small logs to burn steadily. Keep them an inch apart so the fire doesn’t suffocate.
5. Keep Your Distance
Remember to stay three feet away from the fireplace. Keep any flammable material away from the area otherwise it could cause accidents.
6. Schedule Inspections and Services
One of the most important safe fireplace tips is to schedule annual inspections. Call in the professionals so they can inspect, clean, and service your fireplace otherwise you may oversee issues that a professional could spot instantly.
7. Deposit Ashes Safely
Once the fun is over, leave the fire alone so the ashes can cool. Once cooled, sweep away the ashes and coal into a metal coal hood, take it outside far from your home, and leave it for a day so all the embers die. You can dispose of the ash by sprinkling it on your flowerbed.
Final Thoughts on Fireplace Safety
Before settling down for a quiet night by the fire, consider these crucial fireplace safety tips. Get it professionally cleaned and serviced to prevent any accidents and clear away any nearby flammable material. Good luck!
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