Getting everyone together, making popcorn and watching your favorite movie by a warm crackling fire in the fireplace has always been an enjoyable pastime for families.
Keep your family safe and warm by following these fireplace safety tips:
Have chimneys inspected annually and cleaned as needed by a Certified Chimney Sweep. This reduces the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisonings due to creosote buildup or obstructions in the chimney.
Keep the top of the chimney clear of tree limbs or debris.
Install a chimney cap to keep debris and animals out of the chimney.
Never use gasoline, charcoal lighter or other fuel to light or relight a fire because the vapors can explode. Never store flammable fuels near a fire. Vapors can travel the length of a room and explode.
Keep flammable materials such as carpet, pillows, furniture or papers away from the fireplace area.
Do not overload the fireplace. Large fires can lead to overheating of your walls or roof, especially if the fireplace chimney is constructed of metal.
Always use a screen around the fireplace to keep sparks from flying out.
Always make sure that the fire is completely extinguished before going to bed or when leaving the house.
Talk to your children not only about the dangers of fire, but also the benefits of fire, such as cooking, heating or a nice cozy fire. Do not let them play with fire.
For more info, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America’s website at www.csia.org