As it gets chillier out, we are going to use our gas and wood-burning fireplaces more often. Here are some great safety tips from American Home Shield to keep your home warm and your family safe at the same time!
1. You should have your fireplace serviced annually by a certified chimney specialist, no matter what kind of fireplace you have.
2. The mantel and hearth area should be free of debris, clutter, decorations and anything combustible.
3. Install a childproof fireplace gate and keep small children away from the fireplace and fireplace tools.
4. Never leave a fire unattended, including when you go to bed at night. Be sure you put the fire out first.
5. Install smoke detectors on every floor and inside and outside each bedroom. Change your batteries when daylight savings time changes in the spring and fall, so you can be sure to have fresh batteries.
6. If you use a wood-burning fireplace with glass doors, keep them open while the fire is burning. It helps the fire to get air and also prevents the accumulation of creosote.
7. When the glass doors are open, close the metal mesh screen to contain embers.
8. Do not burn trash, debris, newspapers or cardboard boxes in your fireplace, and do not use flammable liquids to start the fire. For wood-burning fireplaces, use kindling and matches instead.
9. Seasoned hardwood is the best type of firewood for your fireplace. Soft, moist wood causes creosote to build up more rapidly.
10. If your gas fireplace is unvented, open at least one window to improve air circulation in the room.