Since the nights have dipped into the low 30’s this past week, my family and I have enjoyed turning on the fireplace for some added warmth. Both my wife and I feel that the crackling glow from the fireplace is wonderful for creating memories with our three kiddos. And, they enjoy the stories that we read there, and, most importantly, the smore’s that we roast on the fireplace.
But, as an insurance agent, I am always weary of the dangers that such a fire can create. The cozy wood store and/or fireplace literally has an ash pan of potential problems if they are not properly managed.
Be Sure To Use The Right Wood
It is best to use hardwoods, such as oak. And, always make certain that your firewood is properly seasoned and dry. Did you know that soft woods, such as pine, will burn extremely hot & fast? And, if softer woods aren’t properly dried, the water content in their resins can produce high amounts of creosote buildup in your chimney, which can lead to a house fire.
And, it is very important to note to never put non-wood items in your fireplace, even other cardboard or paper products.
Additional Safety Tips
- Do you have a fully charged fire extinguisher near your fireplace? If not, you should purchase one of these. This, along with working smoke detectors, are a “must” if you are planning on using your fireplace this season.
- Have a professional clean and inspect your chimney each year. While the professional is up there, have them check that your chimney cap is secure and properly attached to the chimney.
- Never, ever, ever go bed with the fire unattended. Make certain that it is completely distinguished and all embers are cooled off.
- Always use a fire screen to contain escaping embers.
- Keep the area clear around the fireplace and chimney. I know that as we go into the Christmas months, many of us decorate for the holiday. But, please make certain that there are not decorations around the fireplace and/or chimney that can lead to a fire.
I hope that you are able to enjoy a nice, warm fire with loved ones this season. But, it is always important to understand that dangers are present. Therefore, please take the proper precautions to keep you, your family, and your home safe.
As always, please don’t hesitate to give any of us at Langlois Insurance Agency a call with any of your insurance questions. We always love to hear from our customers!