6 Fireplace Safety Tips To Keep Your Holiday Merry And Bright (and not on fire)

Wood and fireplace

During the winter holiday season, more than 156,000 home fires occur, wrecking holiday gatherings, destroying carefully wrapped presents, and generally putting a Grinchy vibe all over the Christmas season. Want to keep your holiday season merry and bright, but not like, “fire trucks racing to your house” bright? Follow these six fireplace safety tips for the holiday season.

  1. Have your chimney checked and cleaned 

Your chimney can end up clogged with debris, creosote, and bird nests that can catch fire. Also, it is possible for a chimney to acquire cracks that can lead to fires spreading throughout your attic and causing severe damage to your home (and a holiday homeowners insurance claim). Always have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional before your first fire of the season.

  1. Use a fireplace screen  

Not only is a fireplace screen an easy way to add another layer of elegant design to your home, but it can keep your family safer from house fires, too. A fireplace screen prevents embers from leaving your fireplace and sparking a fire on your rug, carpet, curtains, or other flammable materials near your fireplace. Also – try to keep flammable materials as far away from your fireplace as possible.

  1. Only burn firewood in your fireplace 

Burning anything other than firewood in your fireplace can increase the likelihood of experiencing a fire in your home. Burning treated or painted wood can release dangerous toxins into the air that can make you sick. Burning paper, cardboard, and other materials increases the chance that embers can escape your fireplace and start a fire outside the fireplace.

  1. Keep a working fire extinguisher nearby 

Where is your fire extinguisher? If you can’t answer that question immediately, it’s time to find it and put it in a place that’s easily accessible.  Make sure everyone in your household knows where it is, too.

Also, fire extinguishers expire! The typical lifespan of a fire extinguisher is about 10 years. If yours is nearing its expiration date, buy a new one. Not sure? Take it to your local fire station and have them check it out for you.

  1. Only burn dry wood 

Green wood will burn, but that doesn’t mean you should use it in your fireplace. Green wood makes more smoke and can lead to a faster buildup of soot buildup in your chimney, which can lead to fires.

  1. Use kindling: Never gas or lighter fluid 

To start a fire, use kindling or newspaper — never use gas, kerosene or lighter fluid. Using a liquid fire starter can be OK in an outside grill, but using one indoors can result in a flash fire that gets out of control fast.

Fires happen – Make sure you’re covered 

Even with all the proper precautions, fires can still happen. Let’s make sure your home is properly covered. Give Edwards Insurance Agency in Taylors, SC a call today, and we’ll help you feel confident and safe this holiday season.