Keep Safe Around The Fire This New Years Eve
There’s nothing quite as cozy and warming as a crackling log fire. But while fireplaces are a great way to keep your home warm while saving on natural gas heating bills, you should make sure to treat them with respect. Make sure you and your family stay safe this New Year by following our safety tips.
Know The Risks
First of all, everyone in your home should be fully aware that the fireplace is not a toy, and should know what the risks are. Be certain that no kids are going to try and pull logs from the fire, or play around with embers, as it can be extremely easy to spread flames into the home. Every year an estimated 374,000 American homes burn down, with fireplaces a contributing a significant number to this statistic.
Controlling The Fire
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireplaces most often cause house fires when they’re left unattended. Sparks and embers can fly from logs as they burn, and even the smallest fragment can easily start a blaze if it lands on something flammable. The best way to prevent this is to purchase a fireplace guard or fireplace screen, and make certain that it’s always in position whenever the fire is to be left unattended.
Keep Fuel Away
According to the US Fire Administration, about 1 in 3 fires that spread from the fireplace are due to combustible objects being stored too close to the fire. Be sure not to leave anything even remotely flammable within reach of the fireplace. Fire is extremely dangerous, especially when combined with natural gas – a Georgia home exploded recently due to a natural gas leak.
Keep The Chimney Clean
Wood smoke leaves a highly combustible residue called creosote on the inside of your chimney. If this is allowed to build up it can cause a chimney fire. Prevent build up by only using properly seasoned logs, avoiding overloading the fireplace with too much fuel, and having your chimney regularly inspected and cleaned by a professionally trained chimney sweep.
Don’t Light Fire Irresponsibly
You should only use dry firewood, paper and firelighters to start a fire. These are controllable and safe to use in the home. Lighter fluid, kerosene, or gasoline are not; they are extremely unsafe to use in your fireplace and can easily fill a room with dangerous fumes. So even if you’re having trouble getting a blaze going, do not use them.
Guard Against Gas Poisoning
As wood burns, it gives off carbon monoxide gas. This should be vented harmlessly into the chimney, but if the chimney is blocked or the fireplace isn’t properly maintained, carbon monoxide gas can begin to build up in your house instead. That’s bad – this gas is undetectable (unlike natural gas, which has a chemical scent added to it), and can kill if it builds up to a high enough level. To guard against this, install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home. This will provide an alert if it detects dangerous levels of the poison in the air.
Take Safety Precautions
You should be perfectly safe this New Year, and there’s no reason to expect a fire to break out from your fireplace as long as you’re careful. However, it always pays to be prepared; stock at least one A-rated extinguisher in your home, close to the fireplace, so that if things do go wrong you can at least get it under control again.
Using Natural Gas Heating
There’s no substitute for a fireplace when it comes to natural ambiance. However, if all you want is to keep warm, your home’s furnace is the fastest and most efficient way to make every room nice and cozy. Find the best natural gas deals in Georgia now, and run your furnace as much as you like this winter.