Fire Safety Tips for Using Fireplaces and Wood Stoves

cozy fireplace, johns creek gaSitting near a blazing fire in winter is a pleasure that most people want to enjoy in their own home, but safety should always come first. Certain potential dangers become a threat whenever open flames are used for home heating. More than 25,000 chimney fires occur in the U.S. every year, and they cause damage amounting to $120 million or more. The following are fire safety tips that everyone should know about before using their fireplace or wood stove.

Working Smoke Alarms

Be sure your home is equipped with operational smoke alarms anytime the fireplace or wood stove is used. Three of every five home fire fatalities occur in homes with no smoke alarms or with smoke alarms that aren’t working. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has also determined that the death rate per 1,000 home fires reported was more than double with no smoke alarms compared to the number of deaths in homes with operational smoke alarms. Smoke alarms with disconnected or missing batteries are common in these dangerous situations.

Operational Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Install carbon monoxide detectors in a central location outside of every sleeping area, on every level of the home, and anywhere else local law may require placement of a CO alarm. Carbon monoxide is released in open fires, and the importance of CO alarms cannot be overstated. Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, invisible, and symptomless. Many people survive the release of carbon monoxide into their homes only because of the warning provided by working CO alarms.

Practice a Fire Escape Plan

Fire departments spread the word about essential fire safety plans, and one of the major ways to help ensure family safety is to create a fire escape plan and go through practice drills with the entire family. Effective run-throughs include the following:

  • Understanding stop, drop, and roll
  • Stress that no one should re-enter a burning building
  • Establish a meeting place outside the home so that it can be quickly determined whether or not someone is still inside

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy

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Fires can quickly get out of hand. For example, when using a poker in the fireplace, a burning log could suddenly roll off of the fireplace grate and into the room. For various reasons, using a fireplace can result in an accidental house fire. A fire extinguisher near the fireplace or stove is essential.

Be Careful About Flammable Objects

Be sure that flammable objects such as fabric furniture, curtains, and toys are not closer than 3 feet to a fireplace or wood stove. During the holiday season, keep decorations a safe distance from the hearth. Also, Christmas trees should not be near open flames.

The matches and lighters that are used to start a fire should be kept out of children’s reach.

Basic Fireplace Safety

A few more basic rules of fireplace and wood stove safety follow:

  • Do not leave a fire unattended at any time.
  • Remove ashes routinely using safety protocols.
  • Schedule annual chimney inspections and cleaning to avoid such hazards as an obstructed chimney that leads to a dangerous chimney fire.
  • Use a screen in front of your fireplace to help prevent sparks and embers from coming into contact with combustible materials, resulting in a house fire.

Contact the experts at Chimney Solutions for the best chimney services in the Atlanta GA area. We care about the security of your home and family and will answer any questions you may have, including further information on fireplace safety tips. Call Chimney Solutions at (770) 679-2190 today.


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