Fire Prevention Tips for Wood Burning Stoves and Fireplaces
The last thing you would ever want to happen in your family home is a fire. In 2013, there were 369,500 house fires causing 2,755 deaths and thousands of dollars in damage. Unfortunately, if you have a wood-burning stove or a fireplace, the chances of a fire increase. However, if you know the proper maintenance techniques for both then you will be able to keep your family safe this winter.
Tips for Wood Burning Stoves
The first fire safety tip for any home is to have a fire extinguisher on hand. If a fire were to happen, an extinguisher is the fastest way to get it under control. Every member of your family should know where the extinguisher is and how to use it, because a fire can happen at any time.
Another tip for any home is to have smoke detectors and test them at least once a month. Every home needs a smoke detector on every floor, so everyone in the house has the chance to get to safety.
When dealing with wood-burning stoves, in particular, it is important to make sure you dispose of the ashes properly. To dispose of the ashes, you should have a small shovel for the stove as well as a designated trash can. Ideally, you should clean the ashes out after every use.
Tips for Fireplaces
Just as you would with a wood burning stove, make sure you keep a fire extinguisher close by. You also still need to have working smoke detectors on every floor. A fire starting from a wood burning stove is the same fire that can start from a fireplace. You also need to dispose of the ashes the same way you would with the stove.
When you are dealing specifically with a fireplace, there are a few more precautions you will need to take. One is that you need to ensure you have some sort screen or gate in front of your fireplace. The gate’s sole purpose is to keep the fire in the fireplace and to keep your pets and children out of the fire. Also, do not put any kind of rug in front of the fireplace (or woodstove), because if a spark or ember were to get out of either, the rug would be the first thing to catch on fire.
You also need to clean your chimney and flue frequently. If you don’t, the smoke will have nowhere else to go but back into your house, which could cause a lot of smoke damage and possibly an actual fire.
If a fire does occur in your home, call 911 immediately. Always have a plan on hand for what your family needs to do when a fire happens and go over it at least once a year. Your family’s safety should be your first priority before you light your first fire this winter. Make sure you review the safety guidelines for fireplaces before winter, so you and your family stay safe and warm this winter.