As Winter Storm Uri swept through the South this past week, our area has seen record setting cold. When temperatures drop, many people turn to the warmth of a fireplace to combat the cold outside. Since Uri might have your fireplace working overtime, follow these tips to keep your fireplace operating safely.
Don’t Burn All the Time
Fireplaces are built for short duration fires. Your fireplace isn’t meant to completely replace your heater, so fires shorter than 5 hours are recommended.
Keep Flammables at a Safe Distance
Make sure any combustibles are kept well away from the fireplace. This includes furniture and decor. A rogue ember can quickly ignite any surrounding flammable materials. Keep any furniture or decor such as drapes at least three feet away from the fire at all times.
Use Tools Properly
Don’t EVER use your bare hands when a fire is burning. Always use the correct fireplace tools to stoke the fire or shift burning logs. Fire is extremely dangerous and can quickly cause burns and injuries, so it is important to keep a safe distance.
Don’t Overload the Fireplace
Too many logs in the fire can quickly cause it to become out of control. Use only as many logs as is necessary to maintain a steady fire.
Never Leave Fire Unattended
It is NEVER safe to leave the room when a fire is burning. Accidents happen and can quickly escalate. Always keep an eye on your fire to make sure it is burning properly.
Have Your Chimney Inspected
Fire safety organizations recommend having your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year. This simple task can easily prevent accidents such as chimney fires from occuring. Inspections ensure that your chimney and fireplace are safe to use.
Fireplace safety is important during the entire year. However, it is even more important during the cold months as we use them to keep warm. Keep these tips in mind when warming up by the fire, and give your local chimney experts at Sootmaster to schedule an inspection or cleaning.