5 Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays
Happy holidays, everyone!
As I type this, I’m sitting on three days straight of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and more.
With the holidays comes cooler weather.
In fact, it’s been so cool in California that my own family has been using their fireplace for the past week.
It took us awhile to get here—but get here we did!
However, fireplaces aren’t all fun and games.
With our homes becoming packed to the brim with family, friends, and, let’s be honest, stuff, it’s important to ensure that every precaution is being taken with your fireplace.
Take a look at these five fire safety tips for the holidays to see how you can help make your home a safer place.
As mentioned above, it’s likely you’ll be entertaining a fair few people this holiday season. In this, you should be careful to continue fire safety throughout their visit. Sure, your holiday party might be bustling, leaving you running around, but express your concerns that everyone remain at a proper distance from your fireplace. If you haven’t already, invest in a fire grate that protects your place and yourself from getting burned. Unlike traditional fireplace curtains, grates may stick out further, leaving a clearing between the flames and the people surrounding it. A less expensive option is to use a baby or puppy gate to create a border around the fireplace, keeping unsuspecting visitors from being burned.
Kids like to run amuck, but particularly in the holiday season their energy seems to triple. Much like with crowd control, you should have a thorough fire safety discussion with your children. Help them understand that fire is not to be played with and should be handled very carefully. As a general rule, encourage children not to insert anything—ever—into the fireplace. This avoids bad habits from being created or kids from putting anything other than logs into the place in the first place. Also, it is a good idea to encourage children to play away from the fireplace, especially when it is in use. Instead, tell your children that they may admire, but not touch, the fireplace and enjoy it with you, the parent, at their side.
Clean Your Fireplace
If you’ve ever seen Mary Poppins, then you know that fireplaces can become filthy rather quickly. In particular, the chimney collects soot and ash, harboring it and creating buildup in the air vents. This then leaves your fire without the proper ventilation, creating smoke in the home, which can be dangerous. While the flames of fire are dangerous for an obvious reason, smoke can do just as much damage from the inside out. Built up smoke leads to chemicals, which then lead to poisoning of the lungs and air passages. Instead, before regular use of your fireplace, hire the proper persons to fully inspect your chimney and clean it before use. This will protect from smoke congestion in the home.
Choose A Safer Option
Sure, we all love the smell of a fireplace and the sound of the wood crackling in the hearth. However, because fireplaces traditionally are wood burning they can be dangerous. Wood burning fireplaces rely on the owner to check that each flame is thoroughly distinguished before being left alone for the night. An excellent alternative, however, are electric burning pits. Electric pits are used with a switch that can be monitored and turned off completely, ensuring that there are no loose embers. They are an excellent substitution and can be used with eco-friendly fuels, such as fire pit glass. By investing in an electric burning fireplace, you’ll be able to rest assured that each flame is totally extinguished at the end of the night, leaving you free to go about your holiday shopping.
Fuel Flames Correctly
If you do choose to keep with your fireplace, then remember to fuel your flames the right way. Flames can often take time to build up to that roaring fire you desire, which means that you may become antsy waiting for it to happen. Do not try and jump ahead of the line and use things like alcohol, propane, or kerosene. These are dangerous and can create large flames that can cause real damage to not just you, but your home as well. Instead, be patient with your flames and feed them slowly, keeping them growing at a steady rate. A firefighter job requires that they be ready to help you at a moment’s notice, but that doesn’t mean you need to create a job for them when it isn’t necessary.
Remember To PASS
Fire safety is not complete without understanding how to use your fire extinguisher. Ensure that you have one handy and that it is not expired to give your family the safest experience possible.