Fireplace Safety Tips: Chimney and Fireplace Safety

It’s estimated that 31% of house fires are directly caused by fireplaces, chimneys, or other poorly maintained flame fixtures. Although fireplaces are a staple feature in many living rooms and can add a sense of a cozy, relaxing effect, you must practice proper fireplace safety tips when using your fireplace or wood-burning stove, or else you might pay the price.

fireplace safety tipsIt’s not enough to light a log and hope for the best. Homeowners need to keep on top of fireplace safety tips in order to ensure they have a pleasant burning season without disastrous results.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to ensure homeowners won’t see their residences going up in smoke when they start their first fire of the year.

1. Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector

A carbon monoxide detector should not only be installed for your fire place, but throughout your house. Besides smoke starting to come from the fireplace, a carbon monoxide detector may be the only warning signs that your chimneys exhaust is not making its way out the top. The alarm will sound if there is a leak in the flue or chimney. It can also detect other gases that may build up inside the house due to incomplete combustion. You should also test it monthly to make sure it is working correctly.

2. Add Fireplace Safety Screens & Gates

Even when using the driest of woods, it is still possible for embers to escape the fireplace and these too are very hazardous to homeowners. Fireplace safety screens, (also called fireplace safety gates), provide a fire-safe barrier that helps prevent embers from escaping the fireplace without taking away from the visual appeal of a fireplace. In fact, there are many different designs for fire screens and homeowners can choose one that compliments their decor.

However, it is always wise to ensure that it is rated to provide fire protection rather than being strictly ornamental. This is an essential safety feature for you and your family, especially in homes with children and pets.

Where fireplace screens aren’t practical, then homeowners should consider it prudent to keep a water-based fire extinguisher close to the solid flames that they’re creating. Should the worst happen, then they will be prepared to respond with the appropriate device.

3. Hardwood vs Softwood Logs – Know Which to Use!

Softwood or other unseasoned logs are pieces of wood that have a high moisture content. While they can provide heat at a relatively cheap price, they also come at a very high risk to homeowners. Creosote and soot more rapidly build up when burning softwood logs and over time this can have severe consequences for any home, including chimney fires.

The best way to prevent creosote buildup in fireplaces is by using seasoned, hardwood logs. These logs have been treated with chemicals to reduce their moisture content and therefore keep them dry. They should not be used if you want to avoid having a fireplace fire every day!

Therefore, it is important for homeowners to only choose dried wood and hardwood logs from a reputable provider. This will ensure that soot levels are kept to a minimum as hardwood logs will generally be delivered kiln-dried, which is safest to burn.

4. Use a Fireplace Cleaning Log

Chimney sweeping logs are made from a special type of wood that’s specially designed to remove any creosote buildup in your chimneys. They’re usually called “creosote cleaning” or “chimney sweeping” and they work well as an emergency solution for when you don’t have time to get down on your hands and knees with some brushes, soap, water, etc., the old fashioned way.

You simply light it up like another piece of firewood (be sure not to put them too close!) over the course of one-two hours these bad boys will do all the hard labor!

The most important thing about this tool is that it doesn’t require electricity, so you won’t have to worry about running extension cords around your home. Just set it up where you normally burn wood and let it go at it until it has done what it was meant to do.

It’s also great for removing those pesky cobwebs from your chimney since it uses heat instead of chemicals to break them down. And while we’re talking about heating things up, it’s recommend getting yourself a pair of gloves just in case something happens during the process.

Benefit Of A Fireplace Cleaning Log

There are several benefits to having a fireplace cleaning log handy. First of all, it makes cleanings easier. Since you won’t have to climb ladders or crawl through narrow spaces, you’ll save both time and energy.

Secondly, it saves money. When you buy a fireplace cleaner, you’ll only pay once. That means less clutter and mess in your house.

Thirdly, using a fireplace cleaner helps prevent problems later on. By making sure there isn’t anything left behind after cleaning, you eliminate the risk of clogs forming which would otherwise lead to bigger issues.

How to Safely Stop a Fire in your Fireplace

If you want to safely stop a fire in your fireplace, first spread out the wood and embers. This step might take some time, but eventually the flames will begin to die out. Next, use a fireplace shovel to bury the wood and embers with cool ash. Finally, after the fire looks to be completed out, cover it with baking soda to ensure there are no tiny leftover embers burning. A few hours later or preferably the next day, you should then scoop up all the ashes and place them in a metal ash container, keeping them away from your home or anything combustible.

Electric Fireplace Safety

Electric fireplaces are a convenient and safe way to heat your home. They offer super-easy warmth, plus you can use them without worry about getting too close or burning yourself on any open flames!

With electric fireplaces, there isn’t any forced air system blowing dusty allergens into your house from old pipes and vents, meaning your indoor air quality will improve significantly and your family will breathe clean air. There are also no dangerous fumes or gas leaks to worry about with electric fireplaces.

An electric fireplace operates and maintains heat at a low temperature, making them safe alternatives for homes with children and pets.

Gas Fireplace Safety

The gas fireplace has become one of the most popular heating options in recent years. It provides warmth and ambiance while saving energy. However, gas fireplaces also pose some risks. They may emit carbon monoxide, which can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and even death. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when a person uses a gas fireplace improperly. This happens when the venting system is blocked or damaged. In addition, improper maintenance can result in a buildup of soot inside the unit. If this occurs, the homeowner should contact a professional technician to repair the problem.

If you are looking to buy a new gas fireplace, make sure to choose a direct-vent model. Direct vent models have a closed combustion system, meaning potentially harmful gasses are locked inside instead of released into your home.

How to Tell if a Chimney is Safe to Use

The first step you can take in deciding if your chimney is safe to use is to examine the chimney from the outside, making sure a chimney cap is present and in good repair. The cap prevents hot embers from landing on your roof, and keeps out weather elements and animals.

Next, from inside your home, use a flashlight to inspect the flue damper. Make sure it works properly, opens, closes, and seals. Check around the fireplace for cracks in the bricks. It’s smart to have a fireplace inspection, which is much cheaper than waiting for large damages to occur.

How to Prevent Chimney Fires

Chimney fires can grow large and become dangerous. The best way to avoid these kinds of fires is with chimney safety. Once a fire starts in your chimney, you’ll want to act fast before it spreads or worse still threatens your safety. Some fire chimney safety tips include keeping a water-based fire extinguisher near by.

You may even need to install a smoke detector on top of your chimney. Smoke detectors work by detecting changes in air pressure caused by rising hot gases. If the change occurs quickly enough, the alarm goes off. You can find out how much space you’ve got between your roof and the chimney here.

A chimney cap can help protect against damage to your chimney flue. It’s designed to fit snugly into place and stop debris falling down inside. However, make sure that you don’t use a metal chimney cap because it could melt and cause serious injury. Instead, opt for a plastic version.

When installing a new chimney liner, remember to check its compatibility with your existing brickwork. A good rule of thumb is to match the thickness of bricks lining your chimney wall to the thickness of the liner itself. For example, if you have 6 inch thick bricks, then the chimney liner needs to be no thicker than 3 inches.

Lastly, if you’re burning a cord or more in your chimney per year, it is smart to get an annual chimney inspection.

Annual Maintenance

Fireplace cleaning should be as ingrained to homeownership as spring cleaning. Before the beginning of the burning season, homeowners should purchase “cleaning logs” that are available from leading hardware stores. These will release cleaning gases into the chimney that loosen stuck-on debris and soot and mostly fall to the fireplace.

These cleaning logs generally provide satisfactory levels of protection but are not a replacement for a regular inspection and cleaning from a qualified chimney sweeper. A full chimney sweep should be performed once every five to seven years depending on how frequently the fireplace is used on an annual basis.

For basic equipment, a fireplace shovel and a bristled brush are great to have around. These tools allow for easy clean-up with soot and ash starts to accumulate.

As always in the event of a fire, be sure to follow a preplanned escape route and evacuate the building from the nearest exit quickly and safely. While there is an obvious potential risk in regard to having an open flame in the home, following these fireplace safety tips can ensure that you and your family stay safe and warm all season long.


How to update a 1970s stone fireplace

If you want to update a 1970s fireplace, then you should consider replacing the old tile hearth with a new one. The old tile hearths were made from clay tiles, which are now considered hazardous waste. To replace the old tile hearth, you need to remove the old tiles, and install a new ceramic tile hearth.

How to clean fireplace glass

Cleaning fireplace glass is easy. First, remove any ashes from the fireplace. Then, use a damp cloth to wipe down the glass. If necessary, use a cleaner such as glass cleaner.

Do electric fireplaces give off heat?

Electric fireplaces are great for heating up a room, especially when you don’t want to use gas or wood. They are also great for keeping rooms cool during summer months. However, they are not as efficient as gas or wood fireplaces.

What to do with fireplace ashes

Ashes from a fireplace should be disposed of properly. If you live in a dry climate, you can put them in a sealed container and bury them in the ground. However, if you live in a humid area, you should dispose of them in a landfill.

Can you burn pine in a fireplace?

Yes, you can burn pine in a fireplace. However, you should be careful when burning pine because it produces a lot of smoke. If you want to burn pine, you should use a chimney or vent pipe.

Do gas fireplaces need to be cleaned?

Gas fireplaces require cleaning once a year. The best way to clean them is to use a damp cloth and a mild soap solution. Make sure to dry the fireplace thoroughly after cleaning.

How to remove fireplace doors

If you want to remove fireplace doors, you need to first determine whether they are removable or not. Removable fireplace doors are usually made from metal and are attached to the wall using screws. They can be removed easily by unscrewing them. On the other hand, fixed fireplace doors are usually made of wood and are attached to the walls using nails. These types of doors cannot be removed easily.

Are Fireplaces Safe?

Yes, fireplaces are safe for use indoors when proper safety measures are taken. However, they should be installed properly and used only according to manufacturer instructions.

Can Electric Fireplaces Catch Fire?

It is very unlikely for an electric fireplace to catch fire. Since there is no real burning flame, there is no risk of sparks or fire igniting nearby objects. Also there are no fumes, smoke, or chemicals being emitted. However there is always a risk of electrical malfunctions.

Have You Recently Experienced Fire Damage from Your Fire Place or Chimney?

After a fire, make sure to call Jenkins Restorations to get your home – and your life – back to normal again.