Did you know that US fire departments responded to over 48,500 home fires caused by heating equipment each year between 2014 and 2018?
With so many accidents happening on an annual basis, fireplace safety is important to consider from the very beginning. Whether you have a gas, electric, or traditional system, taking extra precautions to keep you and your family safe as well worth the effort.
Luckily, we’re here to help you learn more. Read on to learn eight of the best tips.
1. Install a Protective Barrier
One of the easiest ways to protect your fireplace is to use a mantle or projection. This is especially good to have if your TV is above your fireplace, as it’ll help protect it from excess heat.
They should be placed at least three inches out of the wall to be the most effective, but they can be bigger if you’d like. Having the extra space is especially helpful if you’d like to add decorations to it.
2. Cool Things Down
It’s also important to wait for the heater and the glass panel to cool down completely before you allow anyone to get near it – especially children.
Since some fireplaces use a thermostat to automatically turn on or off depending on the temperature, you might not always know when the fire was actually shut off. Just because there isn’t a flame does it mean that everything is safe. Waiting for the fireplace and the area around it to cool off completely is always going to be the best way to play it safe.
3. Go With Electric
With an electric fireplace, even if it does generate heat, it’s not going to be as hot as a normal fire. Further, the amount of heat is also going to be more consistent and controllable.
In most cases, all you have to do is turn the knob in order to set the temperature or check the thermostat. The great thing is that if the temperature does become too high, it’s going to automatically turn off before it damages itself or anything around it.
Other safety measures should be taken even if you do have an electric fireplace, but if you have the option to install it instead of a traditional woodburning one it’s usually a safer option.
It’s also important to ensure you’re using the proper cords (no extension cords) that meet the appropriate gauge and wattage rating. Also, be sure to check that your socket can handle the appliance you’re connecting to it. If you start running more power from either than they can handle, it could mean bad news for your appliance and your home.
4. Check the Area
If it’s the first time you’re running your fireplace all year, it’s best to have a professional come out and examine it. If you have a wood-burning one you should also have it cleaned each year along with your chimney.
If you have a gas fireplace, be sure to open the chimney flue before starting the fire so that fresh air hits the flames and smoke can ventilate properly. Don’t forget to close the flue once your fire is put out.
Even if you have a guard around your fireplace, it’s important to keep items that are flammable away from the heat — especially around the holidays. Things like stockings and decorations should be kept a safe distance away, along with presents that can’t handle the heat. It’s best practice to never use your fireplace to burn either Christmas trees or leftover wrapping paper.
If you do have a guard around your fireplace, it’s important to also maintain that. It’s going to help keep flames and other burning material in, and flammable items out.
This principle is also important for gas fireplaces. Most appliances come with technology that makes it safe to place decor or electronics near the fireplace or on the mantle, however, there are still things that shouldn’t be placed within your fireplace’s clearance zone.
Whether it’s old newspapers, magazines, books, or even clothes, fabric, or blankets, it’s best to keep them out of your fireplace’s way.
5. Burn the Right Type of Wood
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, make sure you’re using the right firewood. That means logs that have been stacked, split, and then dried for at least eight to 12 months.
For proper storage, make sure the logs are covered on top but left open on the sides to ensure proper airflow.
If you want wood that burns longer, go with hardwoods such as white oak, beech, or hickory. Less dense types like white pine or spruce burn well when they’re dried efficiently, but you’ll need to add more wood more often. No matter what type of wood you go with, as long as it’s dry it’s safe to use.
Remember These Fireplace Safety Tips
When it comes to fireplaces, it’s important to keep everyone’s safety in mind. Whether you have children, or pets, or need to prepare for accidents, making use of even a few of these fireplace safety tips can make a difference. Remember that each fireplace is going to its own unique specifications, so it’s important to consider yours individually before you make any decisions based on the advice of others.
Luckily, we can help you out. Contact us today to get started.