Written by Chad Murray on January 16, 2017
Fires make a wonderful addition to a cold night out, and they can help keep your home warm and energy bill low. But before you start roasting marshmallows just yet, make sure that you are practicing fire safety tips! Here are a few tips that are chimney sweep approved to help keep your fires safe and fun this year.
Involve a Chimney Sweep
If you want to ensure that you have a safe fireplace, then have a chimney sweep come out once a year to inspect and clean it. They’ll be able to make sure the chimney caps are in place and that the exterior, as well as the interior, are in great condition.
Always Check That the Flue Is Open
Before you start a fire, always check to make sure the flue is open first. While it seems like an easy one, it happens more often than people realize and it can create a dangerous situation. The flue will bring the smoke out of the house, and it shouldn’t be closed until the fire is completely out.
Clear the Area Around the Fireplace
Make sure that you don’t keep anything flammable around the fireplace, and that you have a screen to protect embers from shooting out. Even rugs that may seem to be far enough away can start a fire when no one is paying attention. There are still many décor that you can use around the area, but stick with objects that are metal versus wicker.
Have a Fire Extinguisher Easily Accessible
Keep a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible place so that you can quickly grab it if a situation arises. You should also make sure that you have them checked by a chimney sweep so that you have the right size and that they aren’t expired. If you have multiple fireplaces, then make sure that you get more than one extinguisher.
Don’t Leave the Fire Unattended
Leaving a fire alone is never a good idea whether you are running to the grocery store or going to bed. You want to make sure you put it out completely so that you don’t have a situation occur that could have been prevented.
Educate the Family
Get your family involved by going over the safety rules with you. Don’t just tell them where you put the fire extinguisher – show them. You can decide what the safest age is for your kids to start learning how to safely light a fire using the chimney, but be sure there is always an adult present.
Check the Batteries in Your Smoke Detector
If you need help installing a smoke detector, talk to a chimney sweep about the process. If you already have a detector in your home, you should double check that it’s working and that the batteries are fresh. It’s also an excellent idea to install a carbon monoxide detector for extra protection. This extra step will give you peace of mind when you and your family are sleeping at night.