If you have ever seen a fire in action, then you know how much damage it can cause. From small cooking fires to a large house fire, fire is an element to be treated with caution.
This is especially true when it comes to your fire place. A stove may not only pose a fire risk to you and your family, but it can also release gases, if not checked regularly.
These toxic gases can lead to serious health problems, and they can also cause explosions.
But what fireplace is the safest for your family? And how do you ensure that your home is as fire safe as possible?
Read on to find out more.
What Type Of Fireplace Is Safest?
There is a large variety of fireplaces on the market but not all fireplaces are the same when it comes to fire safety.
Typically, electric fireplaces are considered the safest type of fireplace. They provide heat efficiently, and also require little maintenance.
Some fire experts also consider well-maintained wood burning stoves a very safe way to heat your home.
If you regularly maintain your wood burning fireplace and use a barrier screen to prevent and embers from escaping, then this is a safe option.
However, you will need to be very careful with getting too close to wood burning fireplaces as they can get hot.
In comparison, gas fireplaces are not always classed as safe, due to the risk of carbon monoxide leakage.
However, gas stoves often come with a lot of additional safety features, which improve fire safety.
It’s important to install your fireplace properly as many fire risks are often caused by fault installation.
In addition, you will also need to make sure that your fireplace, any flues and chimneys are well maintained.
Although this will improve the fire safety of the stove itself, you should also make sure that anyone living in your household (and even guests) are aware of how hot a fireplace can get.
It’s best to put up some fire barriers or screens, so that nobody gets too close to a burning fireplace, especially not children.
How To Improve The Fire Safety Of Your Home
It isn’t always blazing fires that can cause serious home to people and property, but often it is toxic fumes that lead to health issues, and even death.
That’s why, improving the fire safety of your home is imperative to keep you and your family safe.
Fit A Smoke Alarm
This should be the first thing you should check when moving into a new home. Check that all bedrooms, kitchen and halls have a smoke detector fitted.
Most countries have very strict rules on fire safety, including the fitting of smoke alarms. This often counts for rented properties, as well as sold real estate.
Store Matches Safely
You should store all your matches, firelighters and even electrical equipment safely in plastic boxes.
This keeps them away from small children.
Regularly Check Electrical Appliances
This may be surprising but electrical fires are one of the most reported fires in the US. Make sure that you regularly check your electrical equipment for any faulty or exposed cables.
You should also check that all your appliances has an appropriate fire safety label.
Know Your Escape Route
Whether you live in your own home or you are renting, you should also know the nearest escape route from each room in your house or apartment.
Make sure that there are doors that are easily accessible at all times.
If you live with a partner or your family, then make sure that everyone in your household knows their best escape routes.
You can also run test drills with your family. This may even be great fun for the kids!
If you are renting, then there may already be fire procedures in place. Find out where your escape route is, and where the communal fire fighting equipment is stored.
Regularly Clean The Chimney
If your home has a chimney with an open fire, then it is essential that a professional chimney sweep cleans the chimney at least once a year.
Chimneys are not just used for open fireplaces, but also for gas fires, so no matter what type of fireplace you are using, you should have your chimney swept.
Fit Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Similar to smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors are a must-have in your home. They should be installed in every room with a heat appliance.
Contrary to popular belief, carbon monoxide is not just released by gas fireplaces (see also ‘Who Repairs Gas Fireplaces?‘) or boilers, but also other open fires.
That’s why, make sure that you have a functioning carbon monoxide alarm installed, and regularly check they are working properly.
Buy Fire Safety Equipment
As a rule of thumb, there are two pieces of fire safety equipment that you should always have nearby: a fire extinguisher and a fire safety blanket.
Make sure that you and all adults in your household know exactly how to use them. In case of a fire, it is important that you react quickly and do not hesitate.
Assign A Fire Room
When a fire spreads and your exit is blocked, then you may not get out so quickly. Designate a room in your home as a fire room.
This room should be visible from the outside so the fire brigade may get access, and it should also have a working telephone.
Get A Fire Check For Your Home
Many fire stations or fire departments across the country offer different checks for homes and businesses.
With a fire check, a fireman will be able to give you further advice on how to improve fire safety in your home.
Stoves and fireplaces are an attractive addition to almost every home. They create a snug atmosphere while keeping your home warm.
However, you will need to make sure that your fireplace is safe at all times.
It is important that you maintain your stove well, and check that the rest of your home is fire safe.