Staying Safe & Warm by the Fireplace
As temperatures drop, gathering around the fireplace is a nice evening tradition, but safety comes first. Has the fireplace been checked for safety and proper functionality?
It is important to get fireplaces checked/services every year- many times, twice a year if the fireplace is used a lot. Additionally- something to consider; fireplaces should not be used in place of a furnace. Fireplaces are meant to be used as a short-term warmth solution for short-duration fires.
Safety Tips for an Electric Fireplace
Because electric fireplaces require little maintenance, many do not believe that a safety check is important; however, we recommend checking for proper functionality and safety. Of course, there are no ashes, or fire starters, or chimney for this so-important maintenance for these is ensuring proper wiring.
- Proper cords are important – and keep in mind, extension cords are not recommended.
- It is important to ensure that the socket being used is a good match for the power of the fireplace- basically, you want to make sure that the socket delivers enough power to run the electric fireplace.
- For inspections- is crucial that the fireplace is unplugged. This prevents wire injuries.
Safety Tips for a Wood Burning Fireplace
It is recommended that wood-burning fireplaces be checked once a year before the winter season. Hiring a chimney sweeper to check for buildup, bricks, and other material in the chimney to ensure safety is a great idea.
- Make sure the fire type and wood type are a match.
- Avoid using wood from recently cut trees- moisture is no good for fire starting.
- It’s safe to use metal or glass for the collection of ashes.
- Make sure the fire type and wood type are a match
- The liner should be stainless steel- it’s is said to be the safest option.
- Do not ignite a fire with gasoline; using a dry kindling or organic fire starters is recommended.
Safety Tips for Gas Fireplace
Gas fireplaces have become more and more popular due to their ease of use but they also require safety checks that test gas pressure, burner operation, gas leaks, and carbon monoxide. For these fireplaces, it is recommended that the fireplace not be used for a minimum of 2 hours to allow the fireplace to cool down.
- There must be a clearance zone. This means that nothing/ no objects are near the fireplace.
- Ventilation is important to ensure flow- this lessens the risk of gas and carbon monoxide inhalation.
- Barriers are important with these too. Similar to a wood-burning fireplace, a gas fireplace should have a glass or metal as a safety screen.
We recommend hiring a professional to check your fireplace for safety before using it this season. There are many risks, many unseen, associated with fireplace use. The cost for this service depends on many factors; but generally, averages between $100-$250.