Fireplaces have long been both a practical and decretive home feature. Before the modern inventions of television and the radio, the fireplace served as a gathering place for families to share stories and stay warm on cold nights. The fireplace has had many evolutions during its creation centuries ago. Whether you live in a historic home with much elaborate wood burning fireplaces in every room or a small modern condo with a sleek gas burning unit, it is important to be educated about fireplace safety.
Safety precautions for wood burning fire place
Use the driest wood you can for your fire
This is often referred to as “seasoned” wood, and it is important in preventing fires. Seasoned wood is readily available at stores in your community. Wood with too much moisture in it can cause your chimney to become clogged. A clogged vent can lead to fires, so use very dry wood. The type of wood is less important as that fact that it must be dry to ensure the chimney doesn’t become clogged.
Keep your fireplace clean and maintained
Scheduling an annual inspection of your chimney and fireplace is a good idea. Certified chimney specialists have the tools necessary to find, examine, and fix potential problems before they escalate. If you are designing a new wood burning fireplace, you will want to choose fire-resistant materials like concrete and stone to decorate walls and other surrounding areas. Also make sure it is chimney is cleaned and maintained.
Avoid out of control fire
When lighting a fire, you should avoid using flammable liquids that can cause dangerous explosions. When you are building a fire in a wood burning fireplace, the logs should be in the rear of the fireplace to keep the fire contained. Using dry hardwood will decrease the amount of buildup in your chimney that can cause fires. Never leave a fire unattended, you should completely extinguish the fire in your fireplace before leaving the house.
Have smoke detectors installed on every floor
Place alarms inside rooms where people will be sleeping and in hallways outside the doors of these rooms as well as in the kitchen and any room with a fireplace. You should test these alarms regularly, and change all of the batteries. These alarms are the last line of defense to help you prevent a fire tragedy in your home.
Always remember to think of safety first when using your wood burning fireplace. Let everyone in your family know where the fire extinguishers are kept and keep in mind the recommendations discussed, and you’ll be fine. With the proper care fireplaces can add value to your home and be a gathering place to make memories for generations to come.