Home Matters

Practice Fireplace Safety – and Keep Your Home Safe and Warm

There’s nothing quite like the beauty, warmth and comfort that a fireplace brings to a home. But using the fireplace properly is an important step in keeping your home and family safe. In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration estimates that 75% of confined home heating fires occur in the chimney and flue of a fireplace.

Simple practices and maintenance can help keep your fireplace in good condition, and help ensure its safe operation.

Here are some top fireplace safety tips to consider:

  • Keep it clear. Clear out any debris from the fireplace and keep all flammable items like furniture, blankets and papers a safe distance away at all times.
  • Inspect the chimney. Have a certified chimney specialist inspect and clean your chimney annually to reduce the risk of fire hazards and carbon monoxide buildup.
  • Start the fire safely. Never burn charcoal or use lighter fluids to light the fire in your home, as they can cause deadly fumes and the potential for explosion.
  • Don’t overload the fire. Overloading—which entails putting in more wood, paper and other ignitable materials in the fire than necessary—can overheat the walls or roof of your home. With this in mind, be sure to avoid this dangerous practice.
  • Keep children away from the fireplace. Educate children about the dangers of fire to deter their curiosity and encourage them to keep a safe distance from the fireplace. In addition, consider installing a gate around the fireplace to prevent kids from getting too close.
  • Put it out. Always make certain the fire is completely out in the fireplace before leaving your home or going to bed for the evening.

Talk to a Home Safety Expert

Be sure to take extra precautions to keep your family safe from potential fireplace hazards. For example, if you burn fires often, consider installing new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. To learn more about fireplace safety, and for information on homeowners insurance solutions, talk to the home safety experts at VTC Insurance Group. To contact a VTC agent near you, call 248.828.3377 or visit vtcins.com.

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.