Whether your home has had a fireplace for decades or you just purchased a home with a brand new fireplace tucked inside, knowing how to safely use it is essential. Fireplaces, when used and maintained properly, are very safe. However, when you don’t maintain them or pay close attention, they can lead to serious hazards and even house fires.
The Basics of Fireplace Safety
- Cleaning and Maintenance: Have your fireplace professionally cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. If you don’t have a chimney sweep come to complete a cleaning, there could be dangerous creosote build-up, animal nests and yard debris on the inside of your chimney. All of these can lead to unhappy surprises when you light a fire below!
- Properly Managing a Fire: When you light a fire in your fireplace, start by building a small fire at the very back of the firebox on the grate. This will allow the fire to burn completely and not produce as much smoke. Avoid using any flammable liquids like lighter fluid to start a fire. Use seasoned, dry wood. Whenever your fire is burning, you should leave the glass doors open and draw the mesh curtain. Once the fire has completely been extinguished, you can close the glass doors to prevent cold air and animals from entering your home through the fireplace.
- Check the Area Around Your Fireplace: Another key part of fireplace safety is the area surrounding your fireplace. Never have a flammable rug or anything flammable close to the fireplace. Always keep your fireplace doors closed when there is not a fire inside of the fireplace. Never have furniture, drapes, décor or rugs close enough to be damaged or set ablaze from sparks coming out of the fire.
- Let Ashes Cool: Always allow ashes to cool completely before you take them out. If your fireplace does not already have an ash pit connected to the hearth, keep the ashes in a metal container. Pour water on top of the ashes before disposing of them.
- Talk to Your Kids: Finally, always communicate with your children on how to stay safe around a fire that is burning. Proper education will teach them how to behave properly around a lit fire and avoid any painful accidents.
Clean Sweep Is Here to Help!
Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional chimney sweep, slate roofing and duct cleaning services designed to keep all of your listed properties clean and safe for sellers and buyers. If you have a prospective home buyer or home seller in need of a slate roof inspection or repairs, we are here to help.