How to Keep Your Home Safe When a Fireplace is in Use
As autumn dwindles away, colder weather begins to set in. Though we tend to have warmer winters here in Texas, it's not uncommon to experience chilly temperatures every now and again during the colder months. When this happens, you may decide it's time to crank up the fireplace, and enjoy the warmth and ambiance that it brings to your home. Fireplaces are a great, cost-friendly way to heat your home, whether your fireplace is powered by electricity, oil, or wood. However, as with any heating element in your home, fireplaces carry a fire risk. SERVPRO of Alamo Heights is dedicated to teaching fire safety to the residents of Texas, and in the unlikely and unfortunate event that you do experience a household fire caused by your fireplace, we're here to help with any of your fire damage restoration needs.
How to Prevent Household Fires When a Fireplace is in Use
While fireplaces are a great way to heat your living space, they can pose a risk if not used properly, as with any open flame inside your home. There are steps you can take to ensure that your home is safe when you decide to light the fireplace.
Keep Flammable Objects Away
Rugs, curtains, furniture, clothing, and more are all considered flammable objects. They easily catch fire when exposed to an open flame, and allow it to spread quickly. When you light your fireplace, ensure that there is ample space between the fire and any flammable or combustible objects.
Never Leave a Fire Unattended
Someone should always be in the room when the fireplace is lit. Although rare, a fire may become too strong and spill out of the hearth. If left unattended, the fire will spread quickly. Never leave your home when a fire is burning, even if only coals remain, and never leave children unattended with a fire. In the unlikely event that the fire overflows from the hearth and begins to spread, put it out quickly using a fire extinguisher, which you should always have on hand and readily accessible in your home.
Keep a Window Cracked
Keeping a window cracked while a fireplace is in use allows for a flow of fresh oxygen throughout the room. This prevents too much carbon monoxide from building up inside your home, and will reduce the amount of smoke in the air. Too much smoke inside your home can result in smoke damage and health hazards.
Use Dry and Well-Aged Wood
Wet and colorful wood causes more smoke and impurities to build up in the air throughout your home. It can also cause soot to build up in the chimney, which poses another fire hazard.
Prevent Embers From Flying
No matter how safely you've built your fire to be, embers can escape from the hearth easily, and can sometimes travel a few feet before landing. This often causes fires, even if you've removed flammable objects from the immediate area. The best way to prevent this from happening is to make sure your fireplace is covered by a metal net or glass screen, to prevent embers from escaping.
Keep Your Chimney Clear
Your chimney should always be clear of debris, animal nests, and soot before a fire is lit. You can check the chimney by taking a flashlight and looking up inside of it. If you can't see it clearly, use a mirror to get the angle right. If you can see that your chimney isn't clean or clear, you will need to contact a chimney sweeper to clean it out before you begin using your fireplace again.
What to Do if Your Fireplace Causes a Household Fire
Even when you've taken all appropriate fire safety precautions, a fire could still occur within your home. Make sure you're prepared in the unlikely event that this happens.
If the fire is small and manageable, extinguish it with a fire extinguisher. You should always keep one readily available inside your home. If the fire is large or spreading quickly, notify all residents and evacuate the home immediately before notifying your local fire department.
No matter the size of the fire or the extent of the damage, SERVPRO of Alamo Heights is here to help with all of your fire damage restoration needs. As soon as the fire is extinguished, by you or by the fire department, give us a call.
SERVPRO of Alamo Heights Has the Fire Damage Restoration Experts
Our fire damage restoration process includes assessing the fire damage, and if water was used to extinguish the fire, we will check for standing water and mold left behind as well. If the fire damage or smoke damage is extensive, we will remove all items from the home to restore, and we will restore the foundation within, back to its original state. Our goal is always to make it seem as if the disaster never happened.
SERVPRO of Alamo Heights is available 24/7 to assist with your fire damage restoration. Any time of the day or night, give us a call, and we'll arrive quickly to assess the damages and give you an honest quote. Give us a call today at (210) 822-2063!