28 Apr Fireplace safety tips
Fireplaces are a stylish addition to your home and one of the main focal points which you are undoubtably proud of, but it is important that you don’t forget the safety which must be carried out when installing and using yours. Although rare, it is possible for faults to occur and it is best to be aware of the early signs so that you can prevent danger within your home.
You must always ensure your gas fire has been installed by a Gas Registered engineer. If fitted incorrectly, you may not be connecting the fire to the main gas supply, therefore invalidating any insurance claims if damage were to happen. Those that have been fitted incorrectly or irresponsibly could result in gas leaks which can lead to fires breaking out within your home or carbon monoxide poisoning.
As carbon monoxide is silent, odourless and invisible, you should ensure that a carbon monoxide alarm is fitted in your home, within the same room as the gas appliance, to detect and alert you should there ever be a leak. Getting your gas fireplace serviced on a yearly basis by a Gas Registered professional will also protect you and your home from any potential dangers.
Many people assume that electric fires are, and will always be, safe in your home. Although the flame is artificial, you will still need to resume the same safety methods that you carry out throughout other electrical appliances around your property.
This includes checking that the wiring is not fraying or wearing out and looking for any dark marks that may be left on the plug socket. If you notice one of these faults, call for a professional and do not turn the fire back on until the issue has been resolved.
You should also be sure to not overload the socket which you plug your fire in at, including no extension leads. Be sure to switch off and un-plug the fire at night, when you leave the house or when the fire is not in use and never allow water near the wiring, socket or fireplace.
Wood burners and stoves
As well as all other fireplaces, you must ensure that your wood burner or stove is fitted correctly by a professional. These fireplaces should be fitted onto fire-proof bases and not straight onto your home’s flooring as the stove is likely to overheat due to the flames. It is also important that you don not leave any flammable objects, including fire logs, leaning on the sides of the stove. To be safe, it would be a good idea to ensure that it is isolated away from any other household objects altogether which, in return, will create that stunning statement piece to attract the attention of your guests.
The wood that you burn should be dry. If you burn damp logs, creosote can form inside the chimney and allowing this to build up over time could create a chimney fire. You can clean any traces of creosote through thoroughly cleaning your stove and chimney on a yearly basis. If you are unsure of how to do this, or are worried about your wood burner or stoves chimney becoming a safety risk, call for a professional to assess the situation safely and take the correct measures to protect you and your home.
General fireplace safety for children and pets
Protecting your home from a fire or gas leak is one thing, but it is important to also protect the people within your home. Pets and small children experience by exploring and using their senses and won’t necessarily be aware of the potential dangers if they come into contact with your fireplace.
If possible, such as on a wood burner or stove, check that the door has a latch fitted so that intrigued children will be unable to open it. It is also a good idea for your own safety to leave some heat-resistant gloves or tongs near to the stove as the door will be hot to touch when opening it yourself.
For extra precaution, fit a safety guard around the perimeter of your fireplace and tools to keep pets and children away and safe, even when you don’t have your eyes on them. Guards do not have to be unattractive to the eye, there are a variety of designs available to explore and match to the interior of your home.
If you have a surrounding fitted around your fireplace, such as limestone or marble, you should cover the sharp edges and corners with a thick, soft material to protect small children from injuring themselves if they fall onto it.
If you have any queries in regards to the safety of your fireplace, call our helpful team at Fiveways Fires & Stoves on 020 8127 4747 or send us an email at email@example.com where we will be glad to assist you and assess your fireplace.