During the cold, dark days of winter, cozying up to the warm glow of a log in a fireplace is definitely one of life’s simplest pleasures. You have that cord of wood stacked outside and enough kindling to last a while. But before you light a match, do a little prep work first. Home heating equipment, including fireplaces and woodstoves, are some of the leading causes of home fire deaths.
Both wood and gas fireplaces should be cleaned of any dust or cobwebs that may have accumulated. A good idea is to keep a bucket of sand nearby in case you need to extinguish the fire quickly. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby as well. Choose the right fuel for your fireplace; avoid diseased or moldy wood and never burn treated wood. Use only dry kindling, newspaper or pine cones
to start a fire – never chemicals such as charcoal starter inside.
Before starting the fire, make sure the flue is open. Most importantly, if you have a wood-burning fireplace, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional annually. Bird nests, cracks in the liner, creosote buildup and other issues are not always visible. Check your chimney cap as well. These mesh coverings keep out unwanted wildlife intruders and keeps sparks from starting outside fires. Have a sturdy safety screen or suitable barrier on the front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from flying into the room. When it’s time to clean up, make sure the ashes are completely cool. Put them into a metal container and store it a good distance away from your home.
While enjoying your fireplace, keep anything flammable at least three feet away. Make sure children stay at least three feet away as well. And as always, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a month. Remember, most house fires and carbon monoxide emergencies are preventable. Taking a few preventative measures today can ensure your home and family are protected this winter.
Delco Alarm Systems is a family-owned business and has been part of the community for decades. We are committed to helping you keep you and your family safe and secure. For more information on fire and security systems call the professionals at Delco Alarm Systems, 610-494-9100.