Fireplaces: Quick safety tips for using your fireplace

by Audrey L. D. Petschek 01/10/2022

Chilly fall and winter nights are a great time to use your fireplace, but it's important to do so safely. Fireplaces can be hazardous regarding house fires, burns, carbon monoxide leaks and other dangers. Before using your fireplace, make sure you're familiar with the following safety tips.

Schedule a cleaning and inspection

Your fireplace should be cleaned and inspected every year to ensure it's in good condition and safe to use. Wood-burning fireplaces need to be cleaned to remove soot and creosote buildup, which can cause house fires. Gas and electric fireplaces should also be inspected each year to identify potential safety issues and have them repaired before using them. All fireplaces should be checked for nests or other obstructions in chimneys.

Remove flammable items from the area

Flammable items can quickly catch fire when they're close to fireplaces, such as when sparks or ashes fly out. Keep any flammable material or items away from your fireplace before you use it.

Use safe wood sources

When you have a wood-burning fireplace, use smaller, dry and well-aged pieces of wood. Damp or green wood produces more smoke and can cause soot to accumulate inside your chimney. Smaller pieces of well-aged, dry wood don't produce as much smoke, resulting in a safer and cleaner burn.

Use a flame-resistant fireplace screen

A mesh screen or curtain helps keep ashes from flying out of your fireplace and onto carpeting, furniture and other surfaces. These screens also help reduce the risk of burns.

Never leave fireplaces unattended

Avoid leaving your fireplace unattended when you have a fire going. Stay in the room as much as possible while it's burning, and make sure the fire is fully out before you leave your house or head to bed.

Install carbon monoxide detectors

Wood-burning and gas fireplaces can be a source of carbon monoxide leaks. Carbon monoxide detectors can help you avoid any leaks and ill-effects by alerting you to any issues. You can then move your household outside and have the issue corrected. Avoid going back into your home until there is no trace of carbon monoxide in the air.

About the Author

Audrey L. D. Petschek

Hi, I'm Audrey L. D. Petschek , Broker, owner of Blue Horse Realty, LLC and I'd love to assist you! 

I have over 20 years of experience, sales over 100 Million dollars and accolades in the Industry including:

 "Best of the Best",

Top 1% out of 62,000 Agents Internationally,

 8 xs Agent of the Month in a single year,

 International President's Elite. (Top percentile for producers)

 In addition, I have been named 

10 BEST Real Estate Agent in Connecticut for Client Satisfaction for 2018, 2019, 2020.

 I offer Blue Ribbon Service to all my clients!

 I cover all of Fairfield County and into Litchfield and New Haven Counties and travel further for Equestrian properties and land acquisitions. 

20 years on the Greenwich Board of Realtors, I also hold higher designations: 

Certified Residential Specialist , CRS, 

Accredited Buyer Representative, ABR

Seller Representative Specialist, SRS,

 Graduate of the Realtor Institute, GRI and

 CHP, Certified Home Specialist.

Let me put my expertise and Blue Ribbon Service to work for you!