Simple Solutions for a Fire-Fueled Tragedy

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My job here at Discount Hearth requires some research, and with that comes curiosity. I recently discovered some very surprising and important things about the world of hearth. Some people might not know this (I most certainly didn’t), but fireplaces rank among the top three features desired by home buyers right after outdoor porches and upgraded kitchens. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), half of all U.S. households (that’s 55 million) have at least one fireplace or freestanding stove. Do I really need to say it? I’m going to anyways. That’s a LOT of people. While there is a godly amount of hearth product to select from… the number one rule of ANY product period - ensure it’s safety. I’m going to cover the importance of indoor, outdoor, and overall safety of hearth products. 

Your chimney could possibly become a big magnet for an unwanted fire. Failing to maintain your fireplace can directly lead to great balls of fire, and not the fun Jerry Lewis kind. Schedule a professional chimney sweep and general inspection at least once a year. Depending on your appliance or type of wood being burned, you may need more frequent cleanings; especially any appliances made prior to the 90’s. Another important (really more efficient, if anything) thing to do is get your inspection during the summer to beat out other customers and receive cheaper pricing. One way you can detect the first indication of a fire is a loud roar of intensity that increases as well as its fire. Also, if there are clouds of black smoke and sparks- yeah, you get it. It’s just not a good sign!

If any fire occurs, find out whether or not you can tackle the problem yourself. If you are able to, have a fire extinguisher ready to spray in short bursts and confirm all of the glowing ember is put out. Don’t stand too close, as the pressure of the hose can throw the ember into the air. Once you’ve completed extinguishing, be sure to cover what’s left; a metal sheet or trash can lid is ideal. This way you will deprive the fire’s oxygen and the embers will have less of a chance of ignition. If you can, try to water down the roof as well. All of these things can lead to a safe usage of fireplace product. When it comes to outdoor hearth products, the rules of safety are very simple- always have a fire extinguisher on hand, carefully read the installation instructions, keep all portable products away, especially outdoor furniture. Also be sure to place your hearth product on a stable and fireproof surface. Not on a wooden deck, and especially not on the grass. Last rule for outdoor safety- do not leave your product unattended! 

Fireplaces are a great source of relaxation and a good way to guarantee a perfect winter's night. Once again, I cannot emphasize it enough, make sure to get an inspection on your chimney. Inspections are not just for your chimney but this is the best way to continue keep up the quality of your fireplace. Make sure the mantel and area around the hearth is clear of any debris or combustible materials. Small children should not be around any fireplace tools, and it would be best to consider installing a childproof fireplace gate. Along with every fireplace there should be installed smoke detectors around your home. NEVER start a fire with flammable liquids, refrain from burning trash, debris or cardboard boxes. It is also very important to have at least one open window for air circulation, but it’s really only necessary if you have an unvented gas fireplace. In general, If you’re going to light a fire at any time, always avoid leaving it unattended. 

Forgive me for the numerous reiteration to safety within this post. These simple easy to do steps will avoid situations that could lead to property damage, and or personal injury. Please be careful with your hearth products this year.

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