As the temperatures start to drop — albeit slightly in the Tampa Bay area — and winter quickly approaches, homeowners are slowly getting more and more use out of their fireplace. Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor fireplace, it helps promote comfortability and relaxation to the max.
While a fireplace is often a homeowner’s best friend during the colder months, you shouldn’t underestimate how dangerous it can be when not used properly or maintained regularly. The last thing anyone wants to experience is fire damage in Tampa Bay that could’ve been prevented.
Some people own a wood-burning fireplace, some own an electric fireplace, and others own a gas fireplace. Either way, it’s important you and your family practice safety and responsibility when using the fireplace this winter. It could be the difference between life and death.
8 Fireplace Safety Tips to Follow This Winter
Freak accidents are a real threat to any homeowner, especially when you bring a fireplace into the equation. As long as the fireplace is getting used, you run the risk of that fire spreading in the wrong areas of the house. And as we know, once a fire starts, it can be very difficult to stop it.
Not only can fireplace misuse lead to structural damage inside and outside the home, but it can also lead to injury and death, if severe enough. If you want to reduce your chances of disaster and continue to protect yourself and your family, follow these fireplace safety tips this winter!
1. Keep Flammable Items Away
The area surrounding the fireplace — including on top of the mantle, next to the fireplace, and in front of the fireplace — should be free of flammable items. All it takes is one spark to find its way onto that flammable item. Before you know it, that one spark can turn into a dangerous fire.
2. Use the Right Wood
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you should get in the habit of only using seasoned and dry wood. It should’ve been cut and split at least six months before throwing it in the fireplace. In the event you have a gas or electric fireplace, make sure everything is installed properly before use.
3. Schedule an Annual Chimney Inspection & Cleaning
Over time, your chimney will develop a buildup of creosote that could suddenly ignite if not cleaned, inspected, maintained, and repaired. To avoid this and keep your fireplace working as intended, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional at least once per year.
4. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
While many people find comfort in a roaring fire, you need to be careful with just how big your fire gets. As a general rule of thumb, slow and steady wins the race. You should aim for a slow-burning fire that uses small pieces of firewood, which will also reduce the smoke levels.
5. Don’t Leave a Fire Unattended
If you plan on using your fireplace this winter, make sure you never leave the fireplace unattended. If something were to go wrong and you weren’t around to react, the issue will only get worse before it gets better. Keep an eye on the fire and be prepared for anything at all times.
6. Clean the Firebox Regularly
The firebox is the area that houses the fire. In order to prevent a fire from igniting, you should make sure your firebox is cleaned before and after every use. Store ashes in a metal container before starting another fire and never let the ash at the bottom of the fireplace exceed one inch.
7. Have a Class ABC Extinguisher Nearby
You never know when things might go south, but you can always be prepared for those moments when they do. That’s why it’s important to always have an ABC fire extinguisher nearby when using the fireplace — that way you can contain the fire if it gets out of hand.
8. Install a Smoke Alarm & Carbon Monoxide Detector
In addition to having a fire extinguisher handy, you should make sure you have the proper smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home. Not only that, but you should have them tested often to ensure they’re working properly before using the fireplace.
Need Quality Restoration? Contact DriRite Today!
If you’ve recently experienced a fire that was caused by your fireplace and you suffered property damage as a result, we’re here to help. At DriRite, we offer high-quality, reliable, and experienced fire damage restoration in Tampa to help you fully recover after a tragedy or disaster.
We use the right equipment, follow the right protocols, are dedicated to the highest service standards, and are certified experts in our respective field. With DriRite’s help, restoration is right around the corner. Contact us today for immediate assistance — we can’t wait to help you!
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