Winter is coming. And, if you're like the Starks, it's time to prepare. You're probably not alone if the thought of snuggling up to a beautiful wood fire in the coming colder months excites you. If your wood fireplace is your only source of home heat or, if you use it to supplement your main heating system as more of an ambient feature, then it's equally important to follow some fire safety measures before using your fireplace this season.
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The CFA recommends the following fireplace safety check list:
1. Clean chimneys and flues every year
Leaves and general tree debris, along with birds making nests, can easily get trapped in the chimney so be sure to have your flue thoroughly cleaned.
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2. Preferably use a screen in front of an open fire
This helps prevent any embers flying out and potentially catching fire outside the fireplace. Therefore, it's also very important to make sure that the mantel and area directly around the fireplace is clear of any combustible materials. This includes kindling that may have been used to start the fire in the first instance.
3. Keep clothing at least one metre away from the fireplace
Don't be tempted to hang your wet clothes directly over the fireplace screen. This can easily become a safety hazard so be sure to use a clothes hanger positioned away from the direct fire.
4. Never let a fire burn after you’ve gone to bed or left the house
Like candles, a fireplace should never be left unattended.
5. Ensure ashes are cold before discarding
When cleaning the fireplace, always make certain the coals and ashes are completely cold so as to avoid any unexpected fires in the rubbish bin.
6. Never leave children unattended around fireplaces
Children can be fascinated by fire and don't necessarily understand the dangers around them. As such, always make sure they are supervised by an adult and never let them play to close to the fireplace.
7. Make sure you have working smoke alarms and change the batteries every year
Regardless of whether or not you have a fireplace, always make sure you have working smoke alarms fitted in your home and change the battery everyyear at a minimum.
By following these fireplace safety tips provided by the CFA, you will be well on your way to having a lovely cosy winter at home.