fireplace safety

Fireplaces offer a comforting focal point in any room, inviting us to cozy up to that source of warmth and light on a cold winter’s evening. However, whether they’re gas-,wood- or electric-powered, fireplaces require some vigilance. Read on for some tips about fireplace safety.

Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces are pretty safe, but take care where you locate them, and be sure to maintain a zone of safety around them. Don’t place anything that’s easy to ignite — such as paper, books, fabric, or chemicals — near the fireplace. Also, do the following:

  • Use the right cord. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and do not use an extension cord if you’re advised not to.
  • Plug in to the right socket. Your appliance will have a tag advising you what type of socket the fireplace should be plugged into.

Gas Fireplace Safety

Gas fireplaces have edged out traditional wood-burning stoves over the past few decades, as they’re considered safer and more efficient. Plus they are easier to maintain, with no soot or ashes. But do exercise caution, as they have some risks:

  • Just as you would with electric or wood fireplaces, maintain a zone of safety where flammable objects do not come near the heat source. The flue and vents should be inspected every year to make sure they are in good order.
  • Keep the safety screen in place to prevent flames or burning material from jumping out and flammable items from falling into the fire.

Wood Fireplace Safety

These fireplaces offer a cozy ambience with real flames and the scent of burning wood, but they are extremely inefficient, with a good portion of the heat going up the chimney. For greater safety, do the following:

  • Avoid burning green wood. It doesn’t burn well, and it can deposit creosote on the walls of the chimney; fires can ignite from creosote deposits.
  • Fires should be started with newspaper, organic fire starters, or dry kindling. Do not use kerosene, gasoline, or charcoal fire starter.
  • Use a metal container for storing hot ashes.

For more on fireplace safety, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, serving Indianapolis and the surrounding area.