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Stop:  Before You Use Your Fireplace, Check Out These Top Safety Tips

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Nov 01, 2015

Have you been noticing the changing colors of the trees, the cooler temperatures, and the shorter days?  Are you thinking of using that fireplace for the first time this season to “take the chill off” the air in your home?  Here are a few safety tips to remember.

  • Have the chimney inspected.  A chimney should be inspected by a certified chimney sweep at least once a year.
  • Have the chimney cleaned when necessary.
  • Have a cap installed at the top of the chimney to avoid the possibility of debris or animals blocking the chimney.
  • Before starting a fire, open the damper and keep it open until the ashes are cool.  This will help with the buildup of poisonous gases, especially while your family is sleeping.
  • Clean the firebox at least once a week during the months the fireplace is in use. The coals in a fireplace can stay hot up to three days, so be sure the ashes are cooled before removing them.
  • Ashes should be removed in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Never use gasoline, charcoal lighter fluid, or other fuel to light a fire.
  • Do not burn garbage, rolled newspapers, charcoal, or plastic in your fireplace.
  • Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs.  Never use your hands.
  • Do not leave a fire unattended.
  • Keep a nonflammable rug in front of the fireplace so sparks won’t damage the flooring.
  • Install a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher on hand.

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