Fire safety is a matter of concern for each and every individual. You have to be very careful with fireplaces, as you can never predict a fire accident. Many people living in apartments as well as ground floor homes have fireplaces for keeping the house warm during the cold weather. Other than the traditional wood fireplaces, there are many others like the gas and ventless type, which are used because of their ease and convenience. However, they all require the same amount of maintenance and care.
Even though there are fireplaces situated inside the house, we have wooden furniture and other flammable objects in our homes. Hence, to prevent fire accidents in the house, we should maintain our fireplaces. By doing so, we keep our children and families away from disasters.
- Undertake regular cleaning and maintenance of the fireplace by checking if the chimney is damaged or leaking, or if there are any obstructions for the smoke to pass.
- If you are living in an apartment, make sure that the fire alarms in your house and building are working properly. Check the batteries of the alarms, and replace them with fresh ones if they are dead.
- Ensure that your fireplace is covered completely with a screen of non-combustible material. This will protect the sparks from falling on the carpet, furniture, papers, and other combustible things lying near it. This is especially important for ventless fireplaces, as there are chances of sparks falling out of these.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher at hand so that if there is a fire, you are prepared to blow it out.
- For gas fireplaces, use only the amount of gas required to feed the fire. Do not use too much gas as that can lead to fire temperature elevation and result in chimney fires.
- If it is a wood-fed fireplace, never use gasoline to restart the fire as that can lead to major explosions. Due to the air vents in the chimney, these flammable liquids can travel in other directions, and when they come in contact with fire, they explode.
- Always keep logs at a distance from the fireplace and maintain a room where you can store them.
- If you are using paper to make a fire, make sure you remove the colored parts of the papers as there might be combustible chemicals in them. Avoid using polystyrene packing, charcoal, or coal as these are also unpredictable chemicals.
- Make sure you keep the damper open when the fire is lit so that the poisonous gases which are released after the logs burn can be let out.
- Keep children away from the fireplace. Check if the fire is completely out before you dispose the ashes, and never leave it burning in your absence.
It is always advisable to follow these safety measures and take the necessary precautions to avoid any mishaps.