Be Fire Savvy
Reduce risk of injury with these steps
Gathering around the hearth this winter? While a cozy, charming fire is the perfect place to relax, don’t take a vacation from practicing safety guidelines. Stay safe with the following checklist.
- Check all of your home’s life-saving safety devices, including carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms for functionality and to ensure batteries are still working. You should do this periodically, but it’s especially important during the holidays and other times when you use your fireplace.
- Many decorating items and materials are combustible, so make sure yours are a safe distance from the fireplace.
- Conduct annual maintenance on your fireplace, chimney and associated elements.
- Outfit your gas fireplace with a safety screens to prevent burns.
- Remember that the metal in safety screens can heat up, and your heating equipment — fireplaces, stoves, inserts and their surrounding material — will remain hot for some time after use.
- Visit heatilator.com for more tips, including a video about fireplace safety.
- Lit candles add warmth and splendor to rooms, but they come with certain risks. Place these burning beauties in safe locations away from fabrics such as drapes and curtains, table centerpieces and other flammable objects.
- Place candles where they can’t be easily knocked over.
- Only burn candles in occupied rooms — if they are burning, never leave them unattended.
- If you have children, pets or an infirm person living with you, battery-operated, flameless candles or scented candle warmers make for safer alternatives that can offer you peace of mind.
Educate your childrenCultivate a culture of fire safety at your home. Teach your children about the dangers of fire, and have them practice the “stop, drop and roll” method to smother a fire. Also:
- Review fireplace rules with them, and also with guests they have over for playdates.
- Place matches, lighters and remotes that operate fireplaces out of reach for children. Out of sight, too, is best.
- Don’t use “fun” lighters that look like toys.
- Consider placing a safety gate around your fireplace.
- Always monitor children and pets near a lit fireplace or one that was recently turned off.
Learn more about fireplace safety and efficiencies