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.