Tips To Keep In Mind Before Cozying Up By The Fire

Fireplace safetyThere’s nothing like an indoor fireplace to enjoy during the winter months, especially if you live in the Northeast.  But before you gather round the roaring fire, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that your experience is filled with happy memories rather than danger or tragedy. Fireplace safety is critical, whether you have an indoor or outdoor fireplace or are gathering round a fire pit.  Taking a few steps to ensure that everyone is safe is well worth the effort.

When you’re making a fire indoors, it’s important to first ensure that your chimney is in good condition.  Since you can’t just crane your neck and see if everything is as it should be, it’s best to have a professional inspect your chimney annually to check for any build-up of creosote or any obstructions.  Your chimney may not require cleaning annually but this routine inspection will provide you with the info you need to know when it’s time for it to be cleaned.

If you haven’t already done so, it’s also a good idea to have a cap installed on the top of your chimney to keep animals and debris out.  Even if you have one installed, the annual inspection should include a check that the cap is secure and in good condition.

Before starting any fire, you also want to make sure that the flue is open.  This may seem like an obvious step, but many people light a fire thinking the flue is open, only to find out it’s not as the house fills with smoke.  Scrambling to get it open once there is an open flame can be dangerous.

It’s also important to make sure the area immediately surrounding the fireplace is free from any objects that can easily catch fire, such as rugs, newspapers, toys, furniture or pillows.  Children should also be taught to maintain a safe distance away from the fireplace to increase safety.

When it comes to making a fire, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure everyone’s safety.  For one, never burn anything that doesn’t belong in the fire – such as garbage, plastic or other items.  Although you may want to start your fire with a bit of rolled up newspaper, be sure that you are not burning anything coated, such as magazine pages or the shiny ad inserts that come in the weekly paper.  Never use a liquid firestarter on an indoor fire and be sure to keep the size of the fire well controlled so that flames don’t get out of hand.

It’s a good idea to have a fire extinguisher easily accessible when making a fire.  You should never make a fire that results in you needing to use it, but emergencies do happen and it’s best to be well prepared.

An indoor fireplace should be a place of comfort and enjoyment, and as long as you take a few precautions to ensure safety, this indoor amenity should provide years of warmth and happy memories.

For more information about indoor fireplace safety, contact Millenium Stoneworks in NJ at 732-677-3657.

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