Every homeowner who has a fireplace should know about basic safety fireplace precautions.  Making the choice to live in a home with a fireplace is a responsibility you shouldn’t take lightly.  Following these five precautions will help you get the most enjoyment out of your fireplace while keeping your home and family safe from unnecessary dangers.

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Proper Fireplace Care and Maintenance

1.)    Keep the chimney clean.

Cleaning your chimney annually, or hiring a chimney sweep to do it may seem like an obvious thing to do.  However, many homeowners overlook this important matter of spring cleaning, which can lead to dangerous chimney fires when you use your fireplace next.  Even if you have a vent free gas fireplace, you should have it inspected yearly.

2.)    Install a safety grate in front of your fireplace.

Safety grates will keep kids and pets from getting too close to the fire.  They also help keep flammable objects from accidentally slipping inside.  There are different types of grates available, some that are permanently installed and some that just sit in front of the fireplace.  They are all decorative and will add style to any room.  Good safety fireplace precautions don’t have to be unattractive, and a decorative grate is just what your home needs.

3.)    Don’t store fuel close to the fireplace.

This may seem incredibly obvious, but your fuel, whether it’s wood, pellets, or gas, should not be stored near the fireplace.  Fireplace fuel should be stored far enough away that the heat of the fire does not touch it and there is no chance it could ignite.  Though obvious, these safety fireplace precautions are often overlooked and homeowners frequently use decorative fuel holders right on the fireplace mantle.

4.)    Don’t use your fireplace when you’re not home.

While a fireplace can be a lovely, efficient way to heat your home, it should only be used under careful supervision.  If you won’t be home, make sure you extinguish the fire before you leave.  That way, stray embers or an overly hot fire can be taken care of before they have a chance to destroy your home.

5.)    Have your fireplace inspected for cracks annually.

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Most fireplaces are made of brick, and bricks can crack.  It’s important to have a professional look at your fireplace once a year to identify and fix any cracked bricks before they become a structural problem.  Vent free fireplaces should be inspected for gas leaks as well.

If you follow these five simple safety fireplace precautions, you will get more enjoyment out of your fireplace.  Knowing your family is safe is worth any inconveniences you may experience taking care of these precautions.