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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to use a fireplace safely

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

As the weather gets colder, it is not uncommon to want to curl up by the fire. Fireplaces in residential properties can provide a great way to get cozy during the colder months, but they also come with their fair share of fire hazards. In this blog, we’ll talk about chimney fires and what you can do to prevent a fireplace emergency in your home.

Overview of Fireplace Statistics

According to the American Red Cross, “Heating equipment [...] is involved in 1 of every 6 home fires.” They also state that this time of year sees the most heating equipment-induced residential fires and even deaths, as “1 in every 5 home fire deaths and half of all fires caused by home heating occur between December and February.” You may be wondering: What is causing heating equipment to malfunction so dangerously so as to initiate such devastating fires? The Environmental Protection Agency cites the National Fire Protection Agency’s statement, “The leading factor contributing to home heating fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.” The EPA also reports that 87% of residential building heating fires are the result of chimney fires. With all of this considered, it is evident that fireplace safety plays an important part in protecting your home and those living in it from fires and fire damage during the winter months.

“So, What Can I Do?”: Chimney Fire Prevention

There are many different steps that you can take in order to prevent fires from escaping the fireplace. The Red Cross recommends that “fuel” - which includes flammable objects ranging from wrapping paper to newspapers and clothing - is always kept at least 3 feet away from the fireplace. It can also be beneficial to utilize a fire screen whenever you use your fireplace, as the screen can prevent embers and sparks from flying out into the room. Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished when you are done with the fire. They also recommend having a professional check and clean your fireplace once every year in order to prevent unexpected problems. The Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association also advocates for the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, as well as keeping a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergency. 

What To Do If Your Fireplace Instigates a Fire

If the fire in your fireplace finds its way out of the chimney and into your home, call SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall right away. You can reach our SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties office by picking up the phone and calling 540-423-6688, which will connect you with one of our expert team members. No matter what your emergency, trust SERVPRO of Culpeper & Fauquier counties to make it “Like it never even happened.”

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