Tips for Fireplace Safety

A warm fire during the colder months of the year helps make your home cozy. You may be excited to light the first fire of the season, but there are some important things to do first to ensure fireplace safety.

To keep your family and home safe, use these tips to prevent accidents while using the fireplace. Before you build a fire, it’s important to inspect and prepare the fireplace for use.

Have Your Fireplace Inspected

Your fireplace should be inspected every year. An inspector will be able to spot parts of your fireplace that need to be repaired and other potential hazards.

  • One of the major things to look out for is any signs of damage to the fireplace or chimney. This includes any defects such as cracks. It is important to spot any issues early so that they can be repaired quickly.
  • Inspect your damper and chimney cap. Airflow is important to have a safe fireplace. Make sure the damper opens and closes completely. Make sure the chimney cap is securely in place and in good condition. This is essential for keeping debris out of your chimney and fireplace.
  • Check for any overhanging branches and trim limbs that are close to your chimney. These are dangerous fire hazards that may also affect the airflow out of your fireplace.
  • Inspect the fireplace doors. Glass doors will get stained over time, but they are easily cleaned.

Using the Fireplace Safely

Once your fireplace is checked and cleared for use, use fireplace tools to manage the fire. Wood, coals, and ash can stay hot for much longer than you may think, and using tools will enhance your fireplace safety efforts.

Place a fire-resistant rug in front of the fireplace as an added layer of protection. Double-check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to give you that extra level of confidence  that you will be alerted to danger. Lastly, have a fire extinguisher on hand and make sure that everyone in your family knows how to operate it.

Cleaning for Fireplace Safety

When cleaning your fireplace, never vacuum the ashes. Hot coals could be sucked into your vacuum and cause a lot of damage. Always make sure that the fire is being watched by a responsible adult. You should never leave a fire unattended. Put the fire out if you plan on leaving your home or are going to bed.

Keep the fire small, as this will make your fireplace easier to maintain and clean. Smaller, hotter fires burn more safely and create less creosote, which is a flammable substance that can cause chimney fires.

Longs GCS Corp. Home Inspections offers inspections to customers in Upstate New York. Contact us to request our services.