In addition, remember that guests may not be familiar with fireplace safety and this time of year may warrant extra precautions. Here are some additional fireplace safety tips.
Appoint a responsible person to be in charge of the fireplace when guests are coming. This person can monitor the fire to prevent guests from trying to be too helpful.
Keep children away from the fireplace. Keep in mind that they may not be familiar with fireplace safety tips.
Look for obstacles near the fireplace that might cause persons to trip – particularly small children and the elderly who aren’t as sure footed.
Never overfill the fireplace. A couple of logs at a time are usually sufficient. Too much wood can cause the firebox to overheat and when the logs start to burn down they can shift which may lead to logs rolling out in to the room.
Always safely dispose of ashes in an approved metal ash bucket with a tight fitting lid. Many house fires start with people carrying what they thought were cold ashes outside in paper or plastic bags. Sometimes hot embers burn through before they get outside. In other cases, people put hot ashes on or near combustibles which can start a structure fire or ignite surrounding grass, etc. In fact, it’s a good idea to douse any ashes with water when dumping them outside. Never dump fresh ashes into a trash container. This can also start a fire.
Never burn cardboard, wrapping paper, holiday greenery, etc. These can create sparks or large embers which will increase the chance of a chimney fire or floating embers which may ignite combustibles on the exterior of the home or elsewhere.
NEVER use combustible liquids to start a fire in your fireplace. Combustible liquids such as gasoline have a flash point which means that the fumes can ignite at a certain temperature. What then happens is that the fumes trace back to the fuel source within a split second and can ignite the gasoline causing an explosion. So even if you haven’t put the gasoline on the fire it could explode in your hands if you are even near the fireplace. Starting a fire with combustible fluids can also cause an explosion. This is why they don’t want persons to light up a cigarette at a gas station.
Keep combustible materials (stockings, wood, greenery, etc., ) away from the opening of the fireplace. Sparks and heat can ignite these combustibles.
Always keep the fireplace spark screens closed when burning.
Never let children or anyone touch the glass on a fireplace door. This glass gets extremely hot and can burn a person pretty quickly.
Enjoy your fireplace! Use it as a focal point and a gathering place for your family and friends. It will be the most important form of relaxation and enjoyment for the holidays while creating many valuable memories for years to come. Just use it wisely.