Fireplace Safety Tips for The Winter Time

Fireplace Safety Tips for The Winter Time

During Atlanta's chilly winter days and nights, many homeowners like to enjoy a cozy fire. But whether you've got a wood, gas, or electric fireplace, it's important to keep in mind essential safety precautions.

To help you avoid house fires, unhealthy smoke inhalation, and other potential dangers, we'll review our top 5 fireplace safety tips for winter:

  • Get an annual inspection
  • Check your smoke and CO detectors
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Review emergency best practices
  • Be mindful of children and pets

With these safety measures in place, you can relax and enjoy the warm ambiance of your fire all season long.

Ackerman Security offers state-of-the-art smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors, complete with 24/7 professional fire monitoring. To get an upfront installation estimate, call us at 800.552.1111 or schedule an instant quote onlinetoday. You can also download our free fireplace safety kitto learn how to prevent fires from happening in the first place.

Get an Annual Inspection

According to The National Fire Protection Association, "chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances."

Therefore, if you have a wood or gas fireplace, schedule a yearly inspection with a trusted fireplace professional. They will clean the chimney, remove soot, ash, and creosote buildup (creosote is byproduct of burning wood), or check your gas venting for proper ventilation of carbon monoxide.

Not sure where to look? Search for "chimney inspections near me" or research HVAC contractors in your area.An honest professional will always provide a free upfront estimate, complete with a guaranteed checklist of fireplace items to be inspected.

Note: While electric fireplaces should be treated with the same care as any other electric appliance in your home, they don't require professional inspection.

Check Your Smoke and CO Detectors

Every home should have both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed, but this is especially critical when running a fireplace.

Here's why: When you burn wood or gas fuel, your fireplace will emit smoke, toxic carbon monoxide, and other combustion byproducts. Under normal operation, your chimney flue and/or gas vents will let these gases escape outdoors. But if something were to go wrong, you wouldn't know without a smoke or CO detection system in place.

To avoid accidental inhalation of these toxic gases, check the status of your smoke and CO detectors at least once a year. Ideally, beforethe start of the winter season.

If your detectors are battery operated, make sure they have enough charge. And if your detectors are hard-wired, have a fireplace professional inspect for any frayed or malfunctioning wiring.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby

When running an open fire(be it a wood stove, pellet stove, or modern gas fireplace), youshould alwayskeep a fire extinguisher nearby. Moreover, you should make sure that everyone in your household knows where it is and how to use it.

To mitigate fire damage, always keep a fire extinguisher on hand.

Most of us know what a fire extinguisher looks like, but if you've never learned how to operate one, below are instructions from The U.S. Fire Administration:

  • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Review Emergency Best Practices

In the U.S., a home catches fire every 88 seconds. While that's an alarming statistic,you can mitigate damage by reviewing emergency best practices specific to your type of fireplace. In case the damage is extensive, you might need professional help for restoring your home back. Check out fire and water restoration technician hourly rates and make sure you pick the best one for your needs.

For example, if you have an electric fireplace that causes an electrical fire, do not throw water on it. Instead, pull the plug or switch the fireplace off (only if safe to do so). Then, exit the house and call 911.

Or, if you have a gas fireplace and smell a gas leak, know where the emergency gas shut off valve is in your home. If safe to do so, turn off the valve, exit your home, and then call your local emergency gas hotline. Not sure what the phone number is? Search for "emergency gas hotline in my area" and then save it to your phone for easy access.

Of course, in a true fire emergency, you should always call 911 for immediate help. You can also review Ackerman's free fire safety kitto learn about how to create a home fire escape plan.Even 5 minutes spent learning about fire safety can help you and your family avoid life-threatening consequences.

Be Mindful of Children and Pets

Never leave children or pets unattended when using your fireplace.All the more so if you have a wood burning fire without the protection of a grate or glass coverplate.

Fireplaces are meant to provide warmth and comfort, but not at the expense of your loved ones' lives. If the thought of a fire is too stressful for you and your family, consider an electric fireplace insert with faux-flames instead. Or, limit using your fireplace to only a few times per year, when there are enough responsible adults around to monitor your kids and pets.

Interested in Professional Fire Monitoring? Contact Ackerman Security.

For peace of mind that you and your family are safeguarded against fires, poisonous smoke inhalation, and more, call Ackerman Security today at 800.552.1111. When you speak with our security specialists, we'll review our fire detection products and services, including how you can integrate them into your home security system.

Don't have a security system yet? Schedule a free quote onlineand we'll provide upfront prices on a range of the industry's best home security and automation solutions. With a "no-theft" 200% Money Back guarantee, it's no wonder Atlanta homeowners have trusted Ackerman Security for more than 50 years.