Warming up next to a cozy fire with a cup of tea and a good book is one of life’s simple pleasures. Although it’s not quite winter, the cold, dark days of November are definitely fireplace weather.
You are ready! That cord of wood is stacked outside and you have enough kindling to enjoy your fireplace. Be aware, though, heating equipment, including fireplaces and woodstoves, are some of the leading causes of home fire deaths. So before you settle in to enjoy a warm fire, do a little prep work first.
Both wood and gas fireplaces should be cleaned of any dust or cobwebs that may have accumulated during the winter months. Keep a bucket of sand nearby in case you need to extinguish the fire quickly.
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.
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.
The National Fire Protection Association offers a few other tips to keep you warm and safe this winter: Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from the fireplace. Keep children at least three feet away as well.
Make sure there is a sturdy screen or suitable barrier to prevent sparks from flying into the room. Do not clean out ashes until they are completely cooled. Put them into a metal container and store it a good distance away from your home.
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.