Fireplace Safety

·November 13, 2021·Uncategorized·2 min·

As fall fades away and winter starts to creep into […]

As fall fades away and winter starts to creep into Middle Tennessee, many homeowners will start to light up their fireplaces to take out the chill and create some holly-jolly holiday ambiance. Whether you’re a long-time homeowner or settling in by the hearth of your first home, here’s what you should know about fireplace safety. 

Wood burning fireplace safety

Wood-burning fireplaces can be found in two main styles, a traditional potbellied wood-burning stove and an open-front fireplace like the kind Santa is known to slide down. Because both of these fireplaces burn wood for fuel, one of the biggest concerns they face is their chimney. Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned each year to prevent the build-up of creosote which can cause chimney fires, and in some cases, explosions. 

Another concern, especially for open-front fireplaces is that embers can escape the fireplace and potentially create a fire inside the home. This is why many fireplaces have large stone hearths and glass doors to prevent any potential sparks from causing burns or fires. 

Gas fireplace safety

Gas fireplaces give homeowners the warm and cozy feeling of a wood-burning fireplace without the hassles. Gas fireplaces hook into the natural gas lines available in homes to make starting a fire as easy as a push of a button. This convenience and the wide array of design options available means that gas fireplaces are a popular choice for homeowners, but even modern versions have their own fireplace safety concerns. 

Most gas fireplace safety issues are the result of improper installation or maintenance. While most models are equipped with a fail-safe that shuts off the gas flow if the pilot light on the fireplace goes out, there is still some risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s a good idea for homeowners to ensure they have a working carbon monoxide detector in their home if they have any gas-powered appliances including gas fireplaces. 

Electric fireplace safety

Electric fireplaces are a great alternative to wood-burning or gas fireplaces for areas that are not conducive to permanent ventilation or for homeowners looking for just a bit of extra heating. Electric fireplaces can be plugged in and moved from room to room as needed and use a hot air blower instead of fire to generate heat. This means that, unlike a gas or wood-burning fireplace, there is no risk of carbon monoxide with an electric fireplace. While electric fireplaces are generally considered one of the safest fireplace options, it is still a good idea to turn off an electric fireplace when sleeping or out of the home to eliminate the risk of an electrical fire. 

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