Proper fireplace safety is extremely important. Even if you have been using your fireplace for years, it is important to brush up on your fire safety rules.
Here are some fireplace safety rules for both wood burning and gas fireplaces:
· Open the damper before starting a wood burning fire
· Leave flue open, even if fire is only smoldering
· Teach children about dangers of fire
· Use a chimney cap
· Do not use lighter fluid to start a fire
· Use long matches
· For gas fireplaces, light as soon as gas is turned on
· Have your chimney inspected annually
· Keep decorations and flammables away from the fire
· Never leave a wood burning fire burning while you are not there to watch after it
· Use a mesh screen with your wood burning fire, and leave glass doors open
· Do not burn trash in your fireplace
· Keep the top of your chimney and roof clear of debris like pine needles and even low hanging branches.
· Realize that artificial logs are not the same as real wood – make sure you read the instructions on an artificial log before you use it, and do not add one to a wood fire already burning.
· When done with a wood burning fire, and once the ashes have cooled, clean them out in preparation for the next fire.
· Do not use charcoal in your fireplace – doing so puts you at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.
· If you have children, make sure that you have a guard around your gas fireplace – children can get burned not just by the fire but by the glass and metal doors surrounding the fire.
· If you have a gas fireplace, make sure that you have at least two places in which you can turn off the flow of gas, just in case one of them malfunctions for some reason.
· With a gas fireplace, you should stay aware of any unusual smells or flames – they could be a sign that your fireplace is not working properly.
Again, realize that fireplace safety is extremely important. Realize that not properly following fireplace safety guidelines could end with harm to all that you hold most dear – yourself, your children, your possessions, your home, etc.
It is most definitely worth brushing up on your fireplace safety.