Fire Advice and Safety
If you enjoy convenience, you will love all the new options for
starting, burning, and monitoring the fire in your fireplace or
stove. You can now sit on the other side of your room, snuggled
on your couch, and with just the flip of a switch on your remote
control, start a romantic fire. Does it get any easier than that?
This article is designed to provide tips on fireplace safety. This
article will contain tips on using the right wood, using screens
and mantles, and having proper venting for the fireplace.
If you are using a wood burning fireplace, using the right wood
and right size wood is important. If you want a hot fire,
hardwoods such as oak or fruitwood are the best option while a
smaller, calmer fire would be great with birch or pine.
Additionally, you want each log to measure between 9 and 14 inches
long and for the best fire, they should be no more than 4 inches
in diameter. When you use the proper wood, you will find that
the fire burns better and you will not have as many sparks or
problems with the wood.
To get your fire going if you do not have a gas starter, dry
kindling is the perfect option. You can lay small pieces, no
larger than two fingers in width, on top of the wood, which will
do the job. Keep in mind that you should always use seasoned wood,
or in other words, dry wood. Not only will you get a hotter fire,
creating more heat for your home, but you will also reduce the
buildup of creosote that causes a fire hazard. If this builds up,
then there is a greater danger of deterioration.
Remember that your fireplace is intended for burning wood only.
A mistake that many people make is thinking they can toss trash
into the fire. These scraps can contain substances not mean for
burning that can lead to unsafe buildups in your chimney or even
combustion or extra sparking. When tempted to toss the paper
plate in the fire, it would be better thrown in the garbage. To
get a nice roaring fire, you do not have to load the firebox. In
fact, you never want to overload it. Using only two or three logs,
you can build a perfect fire. If you live near the coast, an
important thing to remember is that the salt from driftwood that
has been beached eats away the cast iron and reduces the durability
of the wood. Moreover, trash or paper can burn and then come out of
top of the chimney and can create a fire hazzard.
Make sure that anytime you burn a fire, the screen is in place to
protect your floor from sparks. You also want to keep a thin layer
of ash on the bottom of the firebox to protect it. Most importantly,
always use good wood. Make sure it has never been treated or painted.
Finally, keep your fire with a manageable level. Too low and
creosote builds in the chimney, too high and you are setting
yourself up for a potential fire hazard.
You can also use a rug to protect the other areas of your home from
fire or sparks. Most fireplace rugs are fire resistant and will reduce
the risk of starting a fire from sparks or flames that escape when the doors
are open. Fireplace rugs are excellent for insuring safety and also can
be selected to match the decor of the room.
Another important safety feature is to make sure that the fireplace is
properly vented. If the fireplace is not properly vented, the fireplace
can spill smoke or harmful fumes into the house when a person attempts to
start a fire. In addition, sometimes improper venting can make it difficult
to start a fire or to keep a fire burning at a healthy rate.
Finally, fire can be very dangerous - it is important to be sure not to under
estimate the destructive power of fire and to be smart when you are starting a fire.
Do not wear loose clothes or take uneccessary risks when you are around the fire.
If you follow these simple tips and advice, you should be able to enjoy a fire in a
happy and safe manner.