With the first day of winter behind us, it’s official: Fireplace season is here. Whether you have one of our HearthCabinet ventless gel cartridge fireplaces with built in safety screens, or enjoying an antique wood-burning fireplace we want you to enjoy the winter and holiday seasons safely.
The beauty and warmth of a fireplace is great as long as some simple safety measures are followed. It’s important to keep safety in mind all year round whenever using a fireplace, but especially during the holidays when there may be more distractions and more going on in the room with the active fireplace.
Be sure to pay attention to the following fireplace safety tips, especially during the holidays when you may have more guests, children, and decorations than usual.
Keep holiday items and decorations a safe distance from the fireplace, whether it is a wood-burning fireplace, gas fireplace, gel fireplace, or ethanol burner.
Use a Fireplace Screen
Keep everything away from fireplace openings where active flames produce heat, including Christmas stockings, wrapped presents, Christmas trees, and garlands. Make sure you are using fireplace screens to prevent sparks and embers from escaping and igniting anything in the room with the fireplace. HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplaces come standard with keyed locked doors and rigid mesh screens that prevent any inadvertent contact with a flame.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America reports that the type of firewood you use in your wood fireplace has a big impact on how well the fireplace performs and how safe it is. Dry, seasoned firewood will burn more cleanly and safely than green or wet wood, which can cause excessive smoke and dangerous chimney fires.
Use firewood that is at least six months old, best purchased in the spring to use in fall and winter. Resist throwing anything into the fire during the holidays, including wrapping paper and cardboard from gift boxes. They can make the fire flare up and create toxic smoke from chemicals in the materials.
The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association reminds fireplace users to stay vigilant and use caution when using fireplaces, even with screens and barriers in place. The Association recommends constant supervision to keep children, guests, and pets from touching any part of an operational fireplace. That includes keeping any remote controls safely out of reach of children and guests unfamiliar with safe operating procedures. Installing a switch lock to keep children from turning on fireplace appliances unattended is also recommended. Inform everyone in the room that fireplace glass, screens, and hearths can be very hot, even after flames have died out or been turned off.
Bob Vila of “This Old House” fame recommends proper installation and routine maintenance as essential to fireplace safety, even gas fireplaces. Contact the manufacturer of your gas fireplace to see what regular maintenance is required for your model. Wood-burning fireplaces should be regularly inspected and cleaned as necessary to prevent build-up of creosote.
Have a professional annually inspect the burner, fan, pilot light, venting, thermostat, and glass for safe and efficient operation. Carbon dioxide monitors and safety shutoff features are included in this safety maintenance recommendation.
Modern fireplace designs make planning for a fireplace as exciting as ever. Alcohol gel and ventless fireplace technology now allow anyone to enjoy the warmth of a fireplace in their home or business.
If you want to learn more about modern fireplace design or see our ventless fireplaces models, contact a member of our HearthCabinet fireplace design team today.