Home Fireplace Cautions
A fireplace in the winter time can be mesmerizing. We picture a roaring fire, providing warmth from the cold outside. Preparing for a family gathering, or just time to cozy up to read a good book with something warm to drink. Well, like most things we look forward to, it takes some planning and preparation right?
So let me switch gears a little. Did you know that 1 in 10 home fires start as a result of a fireplace? Here at SERVPRO® we've unfortunately seen our share of families dealing with the aftermath of a fire in their home and helped them get back on their feet. It's what we do.
This blog is not to deter you from enjoying your fireplace, but rather to inform you of some things you can do to take some precautions when it comes to using your fireplace. The EPA recommends that a fireplace be inspected annually by a professional. Missing bricks or cracks in the mortar can allow smoke to vent into your home. Wood is the fuel for your fire. When wood burns it releases toxins in the process, one of which is Carbon Monoxide. It is odorless and colorless and is referred to as “The Silent Killer”. So make sure your home's carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Opening a window even slightly, can help vent as well.
Try to use wood that is properly dried out, not damp. Freshly cut wood is damp inside and will smoke more. Dried wood will burn hotter and with less smoke.
Use a grate or screen to keep embers where they belong. Never leave a fire unattended. We've all started the fire in advance of a family gathering before guests arrive, but then went back to the kitchen to cook the meal. You should wait till guests arrive. Then you can show off your mad skills at building a proper fire. And it's best to never let the fire go on through the night. 51% of all deaths . resulting from a fire, happens at night between 11PM and 7AM while we are sleeping.
So go ahead and enjoy your fireplace… just do it safely.
SERVPRO of Oak Park / Ferndale Working to help our community.