Friday, December 17, 2010

Fire Place Safety

Fire places are root causes of many fires every year. It is not that they are directly responsible for this, but it is for up to us to take precautions that will prevent fires from breaking up due to fire places. There are certain precautions and in fact some instructions to be safe from fires due to fire place. Compliancy to these simple instructions prevents you and your family from the hazards of fire. 

The first step to take is to get rid of all the junk near the fire place because than can facilitate fire to catch and spread. Who doesn’t love the warmth provided by the fire place but neglecting certain things which has potential to cause fires is not a good idea either. A fire place can quickly become a fire hazard if proper care is not taken. Proper care should be taken to keep things like paper (mainly newspapers), kindles and firewood at a distance from embers which are burning. Protecting the fir place with a screen is a great way to stop the embers from flying off and outside the fire place. When installing a protective screen, make sure that it does not have big holes allowing ambers to still come out. 

One of the most neglected components of a fire place is the chimney. Home owners rarely look back at the chimney once installed. But this is not a good sign and is a potential danger in causing fire hazards. One should make it a routine to clean chimneys on a regular basis, say at least once a year. It is a common sight to see birds making nests in the chimneys during the spring and summer seasons. However, this usually goes unnoticed and home owners take this lightly which could prove to be a costly proposition in terms of both life and money. What these nests do is they not only block the chimneys causing smoke to return to the fire place but also could catch fire themselves which could turn into a big fire. Also, it is noticed that over a period of time, if the fire chimneys are not cleaned regularly a combustible substance called creosote is formed in the chimney which is once again a big fire hazard. For all of the reasons mentioned above it is a good idea to clean the chimneys every year. 

One should also be mindful about how much wood one is burning. It is not a good idea to burn lot of wood at once in the fire place. A small fire can exaggerate into a big fire within few seconds if the wood is dry which can be beyond the control. That is why it is wise to burn few logs at a time rather than overloading the fireplace. Also, keep in mind not to burn anything else in the fire place apart from regular wood or a fire log especially manufactured for fire places. One may be tempted to put newspapers or even trash in the fireplace, but they can light up a big fire pretty easily. So, think smart and act smart when it comes to fire place.

As always, fire extinguishers are life savers and having them handy would prevent many small fires from turning into a big blaze, no one has time to search for it when a fire occurs, so always keep it handy. Not to forget, fire smoke alarms are a must when you have a fire place. They can be life savers too. But, one should also take care of the fire smoke alarms as they do with their fire places. The fire smoke alarm batteries should be regularly changed to make sure that fire smoke alarm works when needed. The ideal scenario would be a smoke alarm which is electrically wired into home wiring and is always on. 

One more important thing to remember is to keep children away from both the fire place and also fire in case if one breaks out. Also it is not a good practice to leave the fire marooned. Make sure that the fire has completely seized in the fire place before retiring to bed. Thus, following these simple precautions ensures a safe and warm experience with fire places. 

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