Fireplace Hazards and Safe Practices
Nearly half of all home-heating fires and hospital visits can be attributed to improper or unsafe use of fireplaces. Therefore, we at SERVPRO want to keep you informed about safe fireplace practices. As temperatures begin to decrease and the holiday season approaches, we encourage families to gather around the flames as desired and apply safe habits that minimize the threat of an uncontrolled fire.
- Burn safe materials – It is important that you only burn natural materials in your fireplace. This includes tinder (e.g. pine needles or tiny sticks), kindling (e.g. small sticks or pinecones), and fuel (e.g. large logs). Never introduce foreign substances such as cardboard, newspaper, and paper trash as they burn poorly, produce a lot of smoke, and release chemicals into the air.
- Avoid using flammable liquids to start fires – The volatile nature of gas means that you should never put it in your fireplace as it could easily cause an uncontrolled fire. It is best to simply use matches and tinder, however, if you require an accelerant to start your fire, use a small amount of lighter fluid.
- Clean out the ashes after every fire – Regularly clearing your fireplace of ashes will prevent live coals from burning while you are away while simultaneously keeping your fireplace clean and visually attractive.
- Keep a fireplace screen in front of the fireplace when in use – A fireplace screen (3 ft. high or taller) will catch live sparks that leap out of the fire and prevent large logs from falling out. This ensures that the fire does not spread beyond its non-flammable containment and that nearby persons are not injured.
We understand that while temperatures remain in the upper 90s, fireplace safety seems unnecessary. However, we are soon to experience cooler weather and hope to preemptively equip you with the knowledge necessary to safely operate your fireplace.
If your home is affected by a fire, due to a fireplace mishap or otherwise, call SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe at (480) 558-7620 for fire cleanup and reconstruction services.