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Fireplace Safety
December 18, 2018
Category: Featured Articles
Tags: Safety   Holidays  

Nothing creates a winter ambiance like a wood burning fireplace however, it is important to remember these fireplace safety tips from the AAP.  

  1. If possible, keep a window cracked open while the fire is burning
  2. Be certain the damper or flue is open before starting a fire and keeping it open until the fire is out, will draw smoke out of the house.  The damper can be checked by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror.  Be certain not to close the damper until the embers have completely stopped burning. 
  3. Use dry and well-aged wood as wet or green wood causes more smoke and contributes to soot buildup in the chimney.  Dried wood burns with less smoke and burns more evenly. 
  4. Clean out ashes from previous fires.  Levels of ash at the base of the fireplace should be kept to 1 inch or less as a thicker layer restricts the air supply to logs, resulting in more smoke.  
  5. Have your chimney checked annually by a professional — even if your chimney is not due for cleaning, it is important to check for animal nests or other blockages that could prevent smoke from escaping.  
  6. Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of anything that is potentially flammable (ie: furniture, drapes, newspapers, books, etc).
  7. Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended.  Make sure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.  If you leave the room while the fire is burning or the fireplace is still hot, take your small child with you. 
  8. Minimize your child’s chance of burns form the hot glass front of some fireplaces.  Safety scenes can be installed to reduce the risk of burns. 
  9. Put the fireplace tools and accessories out of a young child’s reach.  Also, remove any lighters and matches. 
  10. Install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.  
  11. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
  12. Communicate to children as early as possible the danger of fires and the heat generated from them.

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