October is National Fireplace Month and the good times are about to heat up. For the most enjoyable, safe fireplace season, the Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association wants homeowners to be aware of the following steps to take before firing up your fireplace, wood burning or gas, this fall.
Clear the hearth.
Remove books, newspapers, cushions, curtains, stuffed animals, toys, and other flammable materials that lay within three feet of the hearth.
Invest in a grate.
If your children or pets stray too close to a wood-burning fireplace, they have a chance of being burned by a loose ember. A grate will keep little ones from getting too close, while acting as a barrier to catch flyaway embers and falling logs.
Related Read: Take Your Outdoor Space from Summer to Fall This Weekend
Have your chimney checked by a professional.
Creosote and other by-products from burned wood have built up in the chimney since last season, posing a serious fire hazard if not cleaned properly.
Open up the area.
Clear tree branches and leaves at least 15 feet away from the top of the chimney.
Call for an inspection.
If you have a gas fireplace, have the burner cleaned, and the gas lines and control compartments inspected by a technician. Install a protective barrier to prevent burns from the hot glass fascia, especially if you have children.
Have a fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it.
The moment a fire breaks out is not the ideal time to stop and read the directions on your extinguisher.
Not sure where to put your new fireplace? Get some inspiration from this master bath remodel!
Choose the right wood.
Freshly cut wood is up to 45% water! The wood that you intend to use should be dry and seasoned. It should be cut six months to a year in advance and properly stored.
Install carbon monoxide detectors.
If you already have carbon monoxide detectors in your home, check that your existing detectors are properly installed and spread throughout your home.
Change the smoke alarm batteries.
If your alarms themselves are more than ten years old, you’ll want to replace those as well. As smoke alarms age, there’s a chance the sensors become less effective or quit altogether.