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Enjoying a lit fireplace can be one of the best parts of winter. With proper maintenance and safety precautions, fireplaces are a safe and cozy way to keep your home warm, but when used incorrectly, fireplaces can be dangerous. Did you know fireplaces are responsible for over 20,000 house fires each year?
Here is a list of tips that we recommend all wood, gas, and electric fireplace owners follow to stay warm and safe this winter.
1. Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand, and make sure everyone in the household knows where it is.
2. Keep all furniture, drapes, and other objects at least 3 feet away from all sides of your fireplace.
3. Never leave a burning fire unattended. Do not leave the house or go to bed while a fire is still burning.
4. Communicate the dangers of fires to all children in the household.
5. Your fireplace should have a protective screen. This screen can get hot, so avoid touching it when the fireplace is in use.
6. When your fireplace is not in use, ensure it is turned off, unplugged, or completely extinguished.
7. Test your smoke detectors at least once a month.
8. Do not burn wrapping paper in your fireplace. This can result in a flash fire.
9. Do not use flammable liquids to help start the fire. This can result in toxic chemicals entering your home.
10. If possible, keep a window cracked in the same room as the fireplace while it is in use.
11. Keep all fireplace tools and accessories out of reach of children.
12. Regularly clean your fireplace to remove excess ashes, dust, and other debris. Ensure ashes are completely extinguished before disposal as they can remain hot for up to 3 days.
13. Never operate a damaged fireplace.
14. Only use your fireplace for its intended purpose.
15. Keep “fire salts” away from children. These produce colored flames but are poisonous if ingested.
If you have questions about fire safety, prevention, or maintaining your new home, you can always contact Blue Ridge Properties.