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Winter Chimney Safety for Homes with Children

Fireplaces are a cozy asset to any home. But with the inevitable coziness, come serious safety considerations. This is even more important if children or animals are in the home. While modern fireplaces have many safety features, it’s important to ensure that you’re following all of the best practices to prevent accidents or injuries.

Read on to learn about the most important fire safety tips.

Make Sure the Damper is Open

First step before lighting a fire is to make sure the damper or flue is open. Opening this up allows smoke to travel up and out the chimney. Before lighting the fire, you can look up the fireplace and see if it is open or closed. Make sure to close it back up after the fire is completely out to avoid unwanted drafts. 

Use the Right Wood

Make sure to use seasoned wood. Wet wood contributes to a smokier and less pleasant fire. It also builds up creosote quicker on the inner walls of the fireplace. Creosote is a natural by-product that comes with fires but can be toxic and very flammable if it builds up too much.  

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Watch Your Kids

Always make sure to monitor children when there’s a fire burning. The hot glass doors can cause burns. It’s best to consider a safety screen to reduce accidental touches.

Clear Any Clutter

Clear out the area directly around the fireplace. Clutter can lead to an easy house fire if a spark happens to reach one. Additionally, any decorations on the mantle can also be a fire hazard. Not to mention, it gets very hot and can melt plastic decorations if too close to the fire. 

Remove the Ashes

Once the fire completely dies out and cools off, it’s best to remove the ashes. The general rule of thumb is that the residual ashes should be less than 1 inch because it affects air flow and contributes to more smoke. 

Keep Up with Annual Maintenance

Schedule those annual inspections and cleanings. Taking care of creosote is important as it can lead to house fires if neglected. 

Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Make sure fire and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and have fresh/full batteries. It can mean life or death. 

Prioritize Fire Safety

Try to emphasize the importance of fire safety with your kids. Discuss how important it is to listen and be cautious around fire, but also ensure you have an evacuation route in case of emergency. 

Have a Fire Extinguisher

Finally, keep a fire extinguisher handy for worst case scenario.

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Need to improve chimney safety in your home?

If you’re in the Minneapolis area, Twin City Fireplace, Masonry, and Chimney are the full-service experts to call. We have locations in Edina and Woodbury, MN with highly trained and experienced staff to help with any questions pertaining to fireplaces. If you run into any major issues, we’re there to assist as well as quick as possible.

We specialize in the sale, service, and installation of gas and wood-burning fireplaces for indoor and outdoor spaces. We’re also licensed general contractors, gas fitters, and skilled masons to give you a seamless experience from the first call to the finished installation. Contact us today in Edina at 952-941-2685 or Woodbury at 651-204-0112.