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Stay Safe While Enjoying Your Fireplace

As a source of heat used by generations upon generations of Americans, today’s fireplaces are both decorative and warming. With at least one-third of all Americans employing fireplaces or wood-burning stoves as a source of heat in the home, the danger of uncontrolled fires and injury is a reality for millions of families.

Common Reasons for Fireplace Malfunction

The U.S. Fire Administration reports at least 36 percent of rural home fires start because of problems with a heating device. One of the most common reasons for a home heating-related fire is the buildup of contaminants in the fireplace chimney, which leads to dangerously hot fires. Just like any vital system in the home, fireplaces require regular maintenance that must be scheduled each year.
fire alarm installation
Schedule Yearly Maintenance for Heating Devices

Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves become dirty over the winter and may collect dirt and dust during the warmer months. It’s best to make arrangements for a chimney sweep to come by and do a yearly cleaning. While the fireplace is in use, ensure every fire has suitable oxygen for clean burning and the fireplace only burns appropriate fuel.

Be Smart with Fuel

A fireplace is meant to burn wood or artificial logs designed for use in fireplaces. A fireplace is not a barbecue and shouldn’t be doused in flammable liquid and set on fire. The best type of wood to use is hardwood that isn’t new and moist. Fresh wood doesn’t burn and increases the buildup of creosote, which is the dangerous chemical that clogs the chimney flue with buildup. If a homeowner chooses to remove soot and dirt on his own, it’s essential to wear protective gear. Remember to dispose of ashes properly, and make sure the ashes are completely cool before they’re taken from the fireplace.

Don’t Forget the Outside

The interior of the home isn’t the only place where a fire may start due to a fireplace malfunction. One helpful feature for the exterior of the home is a mesh screen that can be placed on the chimney. This screen will reduce the chance that a wayward spark could make its way up the chimney and fly outside to catch the roof on fire. It’s also a good idea to remove branches that hang over the roof, so they don’t pose a further danger if a spark reaches out of the chimney.

Ensure Further Protection of the Home

After taking every precaution against an accidental fire, homeowners must also ensure proper fire alarm installation. Smoke detector s and fire detectors should be placed on every floor of the home, but not too close to the fireplace. A puff of wayward smoke could activate the smoke detector accidentally and cause a false alarm for the fire department.

Create a Safety and Evacuation Plan

Fire safety starts with a state-of-the-art residential security system, but that shouldn’t take the place of frequent conversations with the whole family about safety precautions. Whether a home has kids who need basic instruction on fire safety or whether the home is filled with adults, everyone should know how to get out of the home in case a fire starts and reaches beyond the fireplace. Remember to choose a spot for the family to meet that’s a few hundred yards away from the home, just in case family members get separated during evacuation.

1306 Stealth Street
Livermore, CA 94551
(800) 255-4273
*Calls to and from All-Guard may be recorded or monitored without further notice to you, for record-keeping, and quality-assurance purposes.
All Guard Alarm Systems, Inc., Security Systems Consultants, Hayward, CA


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