Wintertime is usually filled with snow days, hot coco, warm fuzzy socks, and gathering around the fireplace to listen and sing holiday songs with the family. Although this year may look a little different, fireplace safety is just as important as always.
According to Injury Facts over the past several decades, deaths from home fires in the U.S. have steadily gone down – from 5,200 in 1980 to 2,820 in 2018. But home fires are still the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14. Follow fireplace safety practices to make sure you are protecting yourself and loved ones from unwanted sparks. Below are some helpful fireplace safety tips to keep your family warm and cozy!
Tips From HealthyChildren.org:
- If possible, keep a window cracked open while the fire is burning;
- Use dry and well-aged wood;
- Try to get medium to large pieces of wood so you do not need to change the wood quickly;
- Always clean out the ashes from the previous fire and clean the area surrounding the fireplace in order to prevent small fires from breaking out;
- Check for animal nests or other blockages that could potentially stop smoke from escaping;
- Never leave your fireplace unattended;
- Make sure your fire is completely out before leaving or going to bed;
- Put fireplace tools and lighters out of reach of children;
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times;
- Keep a burn kit handy.
Following commonsense safety guidelines when using a fireplace can mean the difference between a warm family memory or a needless tragedy.