Fireplace Safety Tips

October 26, 2016

maryland, fireplace, chimney, safety, cleaning, inspection

Having a fireplace is quite a luxury, especially during the cold months of Winter. Not only does it add beauty to your home, but it’s also a great way to efficiently heat your home and save on energy costs. Fireplaces are relatively low maintenance, but it is important to understand the risks associated with operating them and be aware of the safety tips to follow if you have a fireplace in your home.

Safety Screen

Always ensure that your fireplace’s safety screen is properly in use when a fire is burning. Not only does this prevent ash and debris from leaving the hearth, it also reduces the risk of potential burns or harm to anyone in close proximity of the fire.

Handling Tools

Never use your hands when maintaining the fire for any reason. Make sure you have the proper tools (gloves, tongs, shovel, poker, broom) necessary for fire starting, maintenance and clean-up. Take note that even after the fire has burned out, the wood and hearth will remain very hot for a good bit of time.

Damage Prevention

It’s a good idea to keep a rug made of nonflammable material in front of your fireplace, just in case there are sparks from the fire when wood is burning. Be sure that there aren’t any flammable items (furniture, drapes, or clothing) in the area surrounding the fireplace and hearth when it is in use. Always keep small children away from the hearth, and never leave them unattended near a fire.

Using Manufactured Logs

If you opt to use manufactured logs rather than natural wood to make a fire, keep in mind that these logs burn at higher temperatures than regular wood and can cause damage if you burn more than one at a time. Follow the directions that come with the manufactured wood for accurate lighting and use.

Placing the Logs

Whether you use manufactured logs, seasoned hardwood, or natural wood, placement is very important. Placing the logs near the back of the hearth minimizes the chances of sparks exiting the area and prevents unwanted fires or burns.

Proper Clean-Up

Never attempt to clean up ash, soot, coals or remaining wood immediately after the fire has stopped burning. Once the entire area is cool, use a broom and shovel/pan designated for the fireplace to clean the hearth. Do not use a vacuum to remove ash and debris, as live coals may be present in the ashes that are difficult to notice.

Whether you currently have a fireplace or you are interested in purchasing one for your home, safety is always the most important aspect to consider. Should you have questions about maintaining your own fireplace or if you are interested in buying one for your home, Fireside Stone & Patio is here to help! Our fireplace professionals can address any of your concerns and are happy to provide you with any additional safety information you’d like. Contact us today and start getting the most out of your fireplace!