Fireplaces are a beautiful feature in any room and provide a cozy place to gather with family and friends. However, it is important to take some precautions when enjoying a fire, especially if you have small children or pets. Here are a few tips for fireplace safety.

Fireplace Safety in the Home

1. Keep Flammable Materials Away

A fire can quickly spread from the fireplace to other parts of the house if materials near the flames ignite. Keep curtains, furniture, and other combustible items at least 5 feet away from the fire.

2. Install a Screen to Boost Fireplace Safety

A screen helps prevent embers and sparks from flying out of the fireplace and into the room. Just one stray spark or ember can easily ignite a rug, curtain, or pillow and grow into a dangerous fire.

3. Fire Safety Essentials

When enjoying a fire, have a fire extinguisher on hand. Make sure to read the directions so you know how to properly operate the extinguisher in case of an emergency. This is an important box to check on your fireplace safety to-do list.

It’s also important to test the smoke detectors in your home monthly. Before you build a fire this season, make sure the alarms will sound by pressing the test button on the device.

4. Keep the Chimney Clean

A blocked chimney with leaves, pine needles, and creosote buildup increases the risk of a chimney fire. Have the chimney cleaned by a professional chimney sweep before building a fire in the fireplace. The professional can also install safety features like spark screens and chimney caps.

5. Never Leave Children Unattended

If you have small children or pets, do not leave them unsupervised in the same room where there’s a fire burning. Teach kids to keep a safe distance. Accidents can happen quickly and without warning, so it is important to remain vigilant around an open flame.

6. Beware of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that’s produced by improperly functioning fireplaces and heating and cooking appliances. Have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home and educate your family about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure family members understand the importance of exiting the home if the alarm sounds.

Like the smoke alarms, it’s important to test your carbon monoxide detectors monthly.

Practice Fireplace Safety this Season

By following these simple tips, you will keep your family safe while enjoying the warmth and ambiance of your fireplace.

Assure Home Inspections offers inspection services to customers in the Chicago metropolitan area.  Contact us to request an appointment.