Safety tips to avoid problems with fireplaces
When purchasing a fireplace for your home, you need to be aware of the potential risks associated with their use. You can minimize these risks by following some simple guidelines. Remember that any heater or flame produces carbon monoxide (CO), which is odorless and colorless. This gas can be deadly if you inhale too much. If you use a gas fireplace, make sure your home is well ventilated and DO NOT leave the house while it is in use. Also keep all flammable materials away from the fireplace to reduce the risk of fire.
Newer models are equipped with top-quality spark arrestors, which will prevent hazardous sparks from flying out of the chimney. Make sure your fireplace is equipped with one of these devices before you purchase it.
The following tips will help keep you and your family safe as you enjoy the warmth and beauty of a fireplace:
· If you choose to use a wood-burning stove or insert, make sure it has an approved spark arrester installed.
· Have a qualified, licensed contractor install your gas fireplace or insert.
· When using a fireplace, make sure it is the only source of heat in the room. Close off any vents to adjacent rooms; open doors and windows if possible; use an exhaust fan (only if the fireplace has a thermostat equipped blower).
· If you have a gas fireplace, do not use any flammable liquids near it. Do not store anything in the room that belongs to, or contains anything belonging to your children, such as toys and clothes. They could accidentally ignite from sparks coming from the fireplace.
· Use fireplace screens to prevent sparks or hot coals from escaping the fireplace.
· Keep flammable items away from fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, and insert units. They include mattresses, bedding, draperies, furniture upholstery (such as leather), clothing (including curtains and drapes), and carpeting.
· Use only non-flammable logs and kindling to start your fire. Be sure to ask the fireplace dealer what kinds of wood are appropriate for use in your model.