A wood-burning fireplace can add warmth and coziness on a cold night. A fireplace can also be an item many home buyers may desire when looking for homes to buy. However, a fireplace that is not properly maintained can create a potential safety hazard for occupants. Learn what to do with a fireplace to reduce the potential for injury from a home fire.
Gases and embers are emitted from a fireplace. To ensure the safety of occupants, have a fireplace professionally installed and located on a non-combustible surface. Do not place objects that may overheat or catch fire in a one-metre area around the fireplace. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a real danger as the gas is odorless and hard to detect with human senses. Reduce the risk for carbon monoxide poisoning with sufficient ventilation.
Open the damper prior to lighting the fireplace. This will help provide a good airflow. This damper should be kept open until any ashes left, after the fire is out, are cool to the touch.
Avoid using highly flammable materials. Do not put gasoline or wrapping paper in a fireplace. This can lead to a dangerous fireball from an accumulation of flammable materials.
Homeowners with a fireplace should place a screen in the front of it. Individuals with young children need to supervise them around the fire. Review a fire escape plan regularly with all occupants of a home.
Homeowners with a fireplace need to have a professional regularly clean and service the chimney. When homeowners clean a fireplace, scoop out the cool ashes and dump them into a bucket made of metal. Avoid using a cardboard or plastic container.
It is important to be sensible when having and operating a fireplace. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors need to be checked regularly and the batteries replaced every six months. All occupants should know how to operate a fire extinguisher kept inside a home.
Prevent a Serious Fire
A residential fire can occur for a number of reasons, including sparks from unattended fireplaces, kitchen stoves or overloaded electrical wires. Such fires can lead to injury or the death of an occupant, in addition to damage to the home. In order to avoid a serious fire, occupants can keep fire extinguishers in the home and train all residents on how to use them, as well as ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
A fireplace in an East Calgary home can be a great asset - if its kept safe and properly maintained.