More homes than ever have some sort of fireplace installed, but not everybody thinks of the safety of fireplaces when they buy one. Most people consider the look of a fireplace to be the most important factor, price second, and safety usually comes much further down the list. But like with any appliance or installation where a risk of fire is concerned, some fire safety measures need to be considered to protect your home.
Whether you’re using an open wood-burning, gas, or electric fireplace, making sure to follow some basic safety precautions is all it takes to keep your property and family safe. These are some of our top fireplace safety tips to reduce the risk of fire to your home, injury to yourself or family, and damage to your property.
7 Fireplace Safety Tips
Most fireplace safety tips are obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t follow these simple measures to protect their home. When buying a fireplace, no matter what sort, bear these safety tips in mind so you can enjoy your fire with peace of mind.
1. Use The Right Wood
First of all, make sure you’re using the correct wood. In order to be suitable for use on a fire, the wood must have below a moisture level below 20% in order to be safe. This usually means the wood has been cured, split and dried for a minimum of 8 months to meet these safety standards. Wood that hasn’t been treated or dried properly will have too much moisture for safe burning, leading to harmful chemicals being released which will harm when inhaled.
2. Buy A Fire Guard
This is another safety measure you’d think would be obvious, and yet many people don’t bother to invest in a fire guard, either because they don’t want to spend the money or because they think it looks ugly. In order to be fully safe, an open fire requires some kind of barrier or guard to prevent sparks from flying out or young children or pets getting too close. It also prevents anything flammable from getting too close to the naked flame.
3. Keep It Clean
If you have a fireplace you’ll know the importance of keeping it clean. What you might not know is that keeping your fireplace clean also prevents potential house fires. Ashes that aren’t properly cleaned out can relight when you start a new fire and fly out, becoming a risk of injury, damage and fire to you or your property. Make sure to clean out all the ash before you start a new fire and let the ash cool fully before removing. Ash should be disposed of in a metal bin to prevent any sort of reactivation and kept clear of your home.
4. Be Responsible with fire
You must be responsible when you own a fire. Leaving an active fireplace to burn unattended is out of the question, and pets and children shouldn’t be left alone in a room with a fire burning. Never go to bed without making sure the fire is fully out, and don’t leave your house for any period of time until the flames have died and the ash is cold. Any appliance that uses an open flame needs to be treated carefully and responsibly, or you run the risk of losing your home, or worse, a member of your family.
5. Test Smoke Alarms
This is another simple and easy precaution you can take to keep your household safe, and yet many people still don’t do it. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms aren’t optional when you have a fireplace, and making sure they are fully functioning is the only way to keep them reliable. If you’re not regularly testing your fire alarm once a month or changing the batteries at least once a year, you may as well not have one.
6. Get A Fireplace Inspection
Most people won’t think to have a safety inspection in their home, but doing this once a year can ensure your home is safe. Hire a qualified professional to inspect your fireplace, and your chimney if you have one, at least once a year. It’s usually a quick job and will give you peace of mind for the rest of the year.
7. Invest In Fire Alarm Systems
Depending on what sort of property you have, a single fire alarm may not be enough. If you use your fireplace often or have several fireplaces in your home, you’ll need a more substantial fire alarm system installed. There are many different types of fire alarm system available so finding one to suit your property and circumstances won’t be hard. Hire a professional to install your fire alarm system and consider a maintenance package to go with it.
Fire Alarms From Matrix Fire and Security
At Matrix Fire & Security, we offer the very latest technology in fire alarm systems. We can provide a multi-zone addressable system, fully customised to suit your property and your individual needs. These systems can help pinpoint the exact location of the fire, which means the emergency services can tackle the incident at the source and prevent any further spread of fire throughout your property. This will minimize the damage to your property, as well as protecting your family. To find out more about how you can protect your property against fire, get in touch with the team at Matrix Fire & Security. Give us a call on 01296 614440 or fill out our short contact form on our website and a member of the team will be in touch as soon as possible.