When creating an inviting holiday ambiance inside the home, there’s always something enchanting about having your family gather around the fireplace to take in its glow. While the warmth it gives off helps you and your loved ones stay warm and cozy during winter, it pays to remember that your fireplace can also be a source of fire risks.
Family members can get injured from stray embers, and uncontrolled flames can damage the home and call for fire restoration in Avondale. As such, proper care and caution must always be practiced when heating your home.
On that note, here are some practical fire safety tips worth following to keep your loved ones safe – and avoid untimely home restoration in Avondale.
Never Leave a Fire Unattended
The simplest yet most effective way to prevent an untimely property fire is never to leave fires unattended. If you must leave the room, go to bed, or leave the house, it’s important to have someone else watch the flames for you. Otherwise, ensure the fire is completely extinguished before you go.
The remaining ambers must also be spread out using a poker to help them cool faster, as they can stay hot for 12 to 24 hours even after the fire is out.
Close the Damper When the Fireplace Is Not in Use
Keeping the damper tightly closed helps retain the heat and keep cold air out when the fireplace is not in use.
If your damper is due for a replacement, it’s a good idea to get one that closes at the top of the chimney rather than close to the flue’s base. This type can keep the natural elements out and ward off moisture more effectively.
Mind Your Fire
Keeping your home and loved ones safe from Avondale fire damage requires mindfulness when building fires. Here are some crucial factors to keep in mind when using your fireplace:
- Always open your damper before starting a fire, and wait to close it until the embers have stopped burning. This ensures the smoke will be drawn out of the house.
- Use hardwoods like elm, oak, and maple instead of softwoods like cedar, spruce, and pine, as they burn longer and cleaner.
- Always use dried wood; they burn more evenly and produce less smoke than wet wood.
- Keep your fires small, as this helps produce less smoke and, therefore, less creosote. Creosote build ups are a common cause of chimney fires.
Practice Smart Hearth Habits
A fire’s comforting glow can draw anyone to the hearth. To ensure every family member – including your pets – gets to enjoy its warmth and radiance safely, it’s best to always use a spark screen or glass door in front of the fireplace to keep sparks inside. Installing a spark arrestor at the top also prevents burning embers from landing on your roof and starting a fire.
Having these fireplace tools close by is also crucial in controlling the flames, caring for your fireplace, and avoiding any untoward accident:
- A fireplace poker for moving and adjusting burning logs.
- A shovel for moving small coals or removing ash.
- A set of tongs for picking up and moving logs easier.
- A brush and dustpan for sweeping up fireplace ash.
Keep Flammable Materials Away
While having a spark screen helps keep stray embers inside the hearth, it’s still best to ensure the area in front of and around the fireplace is clear of any flammable objects. This includes decorations, furniture, wood, drapes, blankets, pillows, or books. Keep anything that could catch fire at least one meter away from the flames.
Have Fire Extinguishers Readily Accessible
Your fireplace can pose a fire risk whenever it is in use. While practicing care and caution helps prevent such incidents, having fully charged and inspected fire extinguishers nearby can make all the difference in case a fire does break out. Keep them in areas where they can be easily seen, and ensure that the adults know how to use them.
Test Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Fire extinguishers can help you put out small flames or control a blaze as everyone escapes – but only if you are able to notice the fire before it escalates. This is where the importance of having working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors becomes evident.
If you have yet to have smoke detectors installed in your home, it’s a good idea to put at least one device outside each bedroom and on every floor. At least one carbon monoxide detector on each level can also be sufficient. Test these detectors regularly and replace the batteries as needed to ensure they’ll work when it matters the most.
Where To Get Fire Damage Restoration Services in Case of a Fire
Fireplaces play a crucial role in setting that atmosphere that gets everyone into the holiday spirit. But while sitting around the fire with your favorite drink in your cup and your loved ones by your side is heartwarming, being mindful of the fireplace safety tips shared above can go a long way in keeping everyone in the family safe through the winter.
With that said, people can make mistakes and accidents can happen. If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of having a fireplace or chimney fire, take comfort in knowing that help is available. Restoration 1 is available 24/7 to perform the swiftest and most efficient fire restoration in Avondale. Let us help you return your home to its pre-fire condition. Contact us anytime to get expert help!