There is nothing better than spending a winter evening sitting round a real fire. Many households in the UK have a log burner or open fire. It is a wonderful feature in the home, but there are also inherent risks that come with having a fire lit in the home. Here are some tips on how to stay safe with your fire:
Good quality firewood
Buying good quality firewood that has been properly seasoned not only increases the amount of heat you get from your fireplace, but also reduces the risks of sparks. Not all wood is suitable for firewood, so buying from a reputable source will ensure you have wood that will burn well and won’t send out sparks into the room. Wood that spits can burn family members if they are too close, there is also a risk of starting a house fire if a spark lands without anyone noticing.
Use a guard
A fire guard will stop any sparks from going into the room. A guard should cover the whole opening of the fire place in case any sparks go out at an odd angle. If there are young children or pets in the household, or if young children will be visiting you then you should use an extendible fire guard that will prevent children from getting too close to the fire.
Don’t leave the fire
Only light a fire for the time that you are going to be at home and enjoying it. Let the fire burn down before you go to bed and before you go out anywhere. This will stop any sparks going unnoticed.
Sweep the chimney
You should have your chimney swept at least once a year if you use your fire, if not twice. A build up of soot not only reduces the efficiency of the fire, but also presents a large fire hazard. Similarly nesting birds can drop debris down the chimney that could ignite without you knowing. Chimney fires are very common, but good maintenance can prevent them.
Use common sense
It is easy to become complacent when you are used to having an open fire or log burner, but using common sense the whole time it is lit will ensure that you do not have any accidents. Not letting children play near the fire will prevent them having accidents, as even older children can forget about the hazard if they are distracted. Do not leave the fire unattended for any length of time and check your smoke alarms regularly.