Stay Cozy this Winter with These 5 Fireplace Safety Tips
Nothing defines coziness during these chilly winter months better than snuggling up to a fireplace. But the same hearth that keeps you warm can also be a dangerous source of household fires. Our experts at SERVPRO of Southeastern Milwaukee County share five fireplace safety tips to help you enjoy that crackling comfort without worry.
- Use only dry firewood.
Burn only firewood in your fireplace—not any wood that’s been painted or chemically treated, as this increases your fire risk. Also, don’t burn any plastics, wrappers, or garbage, as it’s likely been treated with inks and chemicals that could cause a fire hazard. For best results and an even burn, make sure the wood you use is dried and cured, with no dampness.
- Burn with a safety screen on your fireplace.
Safety screens are a must for any fireplace, as they prevent logs from rolling out and sparks from spreading and igniting. It’s even more critical to have a safety screen on your fireplace if it’s in front of carpeting or hardwood flooring.
- Clean your chimney and fire pit area.
It’s important to have your chimney cleaned at least twice a year. But it’s especially important to make sure your chimney is clean and free of obstructions before you light the first fire of the season. After each fire has completely burned out and cooled, clean the ashes from the fire pit area and store them in a metal container with a metal lid.
- Keep your damper open.
Never close you damper while your fireplace is in use—from the first lighting, to burning logs, smoldering embers, and hot ashes. Closing the damper will stoke the fire’s intensity and force toxic carbon monoxide into your home. The only time you should close your damper is when the fire has completely burned out.
- Have working smoke detectors and a nearby fire extinguisher.
Although twice yearly is usually recommended, it’s a good idea to check your smoke detector batteries monthly during the winter season. Also, keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher near your fireplace that has a minimum rating of 2A-10B: C.
In Case of Fire, Call Us for Cleanup 24/7
If an unexpected and unfortunate fire happens in your home, your local SERVPRO Team specializes in fire damage repair and restoration. In fact, we have specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications to restore your home to its pre-fire condition. We’re here for you 24/7 at (414) 421-3500.