Nothing quite captures the spirit of the winter holidays like a log burning in the fireplace with family gathered around to enjoy the warmth and light.
Of course, it’s harmful for kids to play with or be near fire, so keep in mind these safety recommendations before lighting the fireplace.
- If possible, keep a window cracked open while the fire is burning.
- Before lighting a fire, make sure the damper or flue is open. Smoke will be drawn out of the house by keeping the damper or flue open until the fire is extinguished.
A flashlight or mirror can be used to peer up into the chimney to inspect the damper. Close the damper only once the embers are completely out of flames.
- Use aged wood that is dry. A chimney’s soot buildup is exacerbated by wet or green wood, which also produces more smoke. Less smoke and more even burning are produced when using dried wood.
- Smaller pieces of wood placed on a grate burn faster and produce less smoke.
- Extinguish earlier fires’ ashes. Because a thicker layer restricts the air supply to the logs, which leads to increased smoke, the level of ash at the base of the fireplace should be kept to 1 inch or less.
- The chimney should be checked annually by a professional.
- Even if the chimney is not dirty, it is vital to look for animal nests or other obstructions that might stop smoke from escaping the chimney.
- Reduce the risk of burns to your youngster from some fireplaces’ hot glass fronts, such as gas fireplaces. Burns can be prevented by installing safety screens.
- Ascertain that nothing possibly combustible is present in the vicinity of the fireplace (ie: furniture, drapes, newspapers, books, etc.). These items run the risk of catching fire if they are too close to the fireplace.
- A fireplace fire should never be left unattended. Before going to bed or leaving the house, be sure it is fully out. Take your little child with you if you leave the room with the fire going or the fireplace heated.
- Keep children’s access to fireplace accessories and tools restricted. Remove any matches and lighters as well.
- Put in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. At least once a year, replace the batteries and test them.