Minnesota Home Fireplace Safety
Using an indoor fireplace in the home can provide the homeowner with a variety of benefits. A fireplace is a good source of heat, it is efficient and it can add a nice feel to the environment of the home. However, a fireplace does require the homeowner to take special safety precautions to avoid the potential of a home fire. With a few simple steps toward fireplace safety, homeowners can help to ensure the safety of their home when they use an indoor fireplace to provide heat.
Cleaning and maintenance is an important key to indoor fireplace safety. A fireplace that is either in poor working condition or unclean poses a risk to the home. One step that every fireplace owner should take is to have their fireplace inspected regularly. Every year at the beginning of the usage season, schedule an annual cleaning and inspection to be performed by a chimney specialist. This will ensure that the fireplace, chimney and all of the parts are clean and in good working order for the upcoming season.
Try to ensure good airflow to the fire. Keep the glass fireplace doors open while leaving the protective mesh closed. This will help to promote proper airflow, while the mesh can protect the home from any sparks or embers that may fall from the fire. Restricting the airflow to the fire can result in a buildup of creosote, which could end up causing a chimney fire.
Another key for fire safety is to select the right fuel. Seasoned hardwood is the best and safest fuel for an indoor fireplace. Softer moist wood will cause creosote to build up faster, and the pockets of moisture in the wood can also cause sparks and embers to be cast out of the fire. It is also important not to use things like cardboard or paper as your fuel source. These materials burn fast and hot and can be a hazard.
It is also important to make sure you start and build your fires safely. Do not use any fuels such as gasoline or lighter fluid to start the fire. It is better to build a small base of kindling and then build the larger fire around it. For starting a fire, it is acceptable to use a piece of cardboard or paper to get the kindling started, but you should avoid using these materials as your primary fuel. It might take a little bit longer to build a fire this way, but time spent ensuring the safety of your home is time well spent.
Homeowners should also make sure to keep an eye on the fireplace when it is in use. Never leave a fire burning when there is nobody around to tend to it. You don’t necessarily have to sit in front of the fireplace the whole time it is burning, but you should check on it regularly. Do not leave a fire burning when nobody is at home. Always wait for the fire to burn out when you are done using the fireplace.
Fireplace safety is the most important consideration to being a fireplace user. Being lazy, careless or just forgetful when it comes to managing your fireplace could result in a disaster. Along with cleaning, maintenance, and safe operation, a fireplace user should make sure to keep a fire extinguisher handy.
It doesn’t take a lot of extra time and effort to keep your indoor fireplace safe. Taking these simple steps will help to protect your home while you are using a fireplace.