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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

Fireplace Safety for Your Family

The new year is right around the corner and it’s that time of year for setting goals for the next coming year. One goal that you should always try to achieve is to have another year of safe fireplace use. This is also the perfect time of year to go over the rules of safe fireplace use with your family.

Who is allowed to operate the fireplace?

Everyone in your family should be able to enjoy your home’s fireplace. However, this doesn’t mean everyone should be allowed to operate your fireplace. Fireplaces are an appliance and should never be treated as a place for children use or play in. Only adults who know how to operate a fireplace should be allowed to start a fire. Explain to children that there are dangers associated with trying to start a fire and they should never try to start a fire on their own.

Know the hot spots

Gas fireplaces are becoming a common fixture in many homes. The firebox for gas fireplaces is enclosed with a glass front. This glass front can get very hot and can cause burn injuries if touched. It is important that everyone in the home knows that they should not touch fireplace glass. If there are toddlers in the home, be sure that there is a toddler gate around the fireplace.

Know what’s okay to burn

There are a variety of different fuels that you can use in your fireplace. It is important that everyone in your household knows that it is only okay to put the correct type of fuel in the fireplace and nothing else. Sometimes children (and adults) think it is fun to throw things like paper or cardboard in the fire to watch it burn. However, putting things that do not belong in a fireplace can be dangerous. For example, paper embers are lightweight and can easily float up your chimney igniting creosote or even floating out of your home and landing on your roof or lawn.

Never leave a fireplace unattended

Once you are done using your fireplace for the day, make sure the fire is extinguished before leaving it. Even glowing embers can shift or snap causing sparks to fly into your home. Make sure that everyone in your family knows this rule and try to have two people check that the fire is completely out before you leave the room.

Remember that another important thing you can do to keep your family safe is to have your chimney inspected annually by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)  certified chimney technician. We here at Old Smokey’s believe that fire safety should be a family affair. If you want more tips on how to keep your family safe this winter or want to schedule an inspection, don’t hesitate to contact Old Smokey’s at 800-876-6539 or visit our scheduling webpage to set up an appointment.

National Fire Prevention Week Oct 8-14

From 2011 through 2013 there were more than 68,000 chimney related fires reported in the United States causing over 60 deaths. For us here at Old Smokey’s, that is unacceptable. That is why we put the safety of our customers and their families first and foremost with every job that we complete. We are serious about fire safety and that’s why we are proud to promote National Fire Prevention Week from October 8th through the 14th.

What is National Fire Prevention Week?

National Fire Prevention Week was first sponsored by the NFPA in 1922 on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls. This date was chosen to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Coincidentally, this date is a perfect time to be thinking about fire safety because it is a time when a lot of people are starting to turn on the furnaces and use their fireplaces for the first time. National Fire Prevention Week was later proclaimed as a national health observance in 1925 by President Calvin Coolidge. To date, it is the longest running national health observance in the United States.

Every year, the NFPA picks a theme for National Fire Prevention Week. This year the theme is “Every second counts, plan two ways out.” It focuses on family preparedness in the case of a fire by making sure everyone living in a house knows at least two escape routes.

Fire Safety is a Family Affair

Make fire safety a family project! This means making sure that everyone is involved in the family’s fire prevention and fire emergency planning. Use National Fire Prevention Week as an opportunity to go around your home and check for any fire hazards. Also use this as an opportunity to check all fire and carbon monoxide alarms and go over all you fire emergency plans such as determining escape routes and deciding safe places for your family to meet up once they escape.

It’s starting to get chilly outdoors and pretty soon you will be starting to run your fireplaces and other heating systems more frequently. That’s why now is the perfect time to be thinking about and discussing fire safety with your family. It’s also the perfect time for an annual chimney and fireplace inspection by one of our CSIA-certified chimney technicians. If you have any questions regarding fire safety feel free to call us at (800) 876-6539 or contact us on our contact page.

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