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Safety Tips for Any Fireplace Style in Your Heber Home

There are a few concepts that must be considered when purchasing or operating any fireplace, and safety is absolutely at the top of this list. Fireplaces can be dangerous if the proper safety measures are not taken; on the flip side, with some very simple precautions and actions, you can ensure the fireplace and fireplace area is safe for everyone in the home at all times.

At Uintah Fireplace and Design, we’re not just here to provide clients with fireplaces — though we definitely do that, offering Heber and nearby clients a huge selection of gas fireplaces, electric fireplaces and other options. In addition, however, we provide clients with various areas of expertise for both fireplace setup and usage, including important safety areas to consider for any type of fireplace you’re considering. Here’s a rundown of some basic safety precautions or themes for all the most common fireplace types found in homes today.

Wood Fireplaces

Some general tips for wood fireplace safety:

  • Pay attention to clearance zones: All wood fireplaces must have a certain amount of space around them, in order to avoid fires starting in the home. Make sure you know what this clearance is before even considering purchasing or using a wood fireplace. And once the fireplace is installed, be vigilant in keeping this space clear at all times.
  • Inspect and clean regularly: Have the chimney inspected at least once per year, and cleaned as necessary. Soot and debris can quickly build up in a wood fireplace, leading to a dangerous situation. Also, make sure you’re regularly inspecting the fireplace itself for any cracks or damage.
  • Use a screen: A fireplace screen is essential for wood fireplaces, as it will help to keep sparks and embers contained within the fireplace. This is important not only for safety reasons, but also to avoid damaging your flooring or carpeting.
  • Check the flue damper: The flue damper should be open while the fire is lit, and closed when it’s not in use. This will help to ensure proper ventilation for the fire, and will also help to keep any unwanted critters or debris out of the fireplace.
  • Install smoke alarms: Wood fireplaces create smoke, so it’s important to have working smoke alarms in the home — and preferably in the same room as the fireplace. This will help to alert you to any issues with the fire, and will give you time to take action if necessary.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher: Finally, make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand that’s easily accessible. This way, if a fire does start, you’ll be able to put it out quickly and avoid any serious damage.

Electric Fireplaces

With their modern style and no ash or soot issues, the safety basics for electric fireplaces are a bit different. Here are some tips:

  • Never touch the surface: The surface of an electric fireplace can get very hot, so it’s important to never touch it while in use. This goes for the glass as well — if possible, don’t let anyone (especially children) come into contact with the glass surface.
  • Use the right socket: Don’t try to plug your electric fireplace into any old socket — make sure it’s the right type, and that it can handle the amount of power required. If you’re not sure, consult an electrician or the manufacturer of the fireplace.
  • No extension cords: Never use an extension cord with an electric fireplace, as this can create a fire hazard. All electric fireplaces should be plugged directly into a socket.
  • Inspect cords regularly: Even without using an extension cord, it’s important to inspect the power cord for your electric fireplace on a regular basis. Look for any signs of wear and tear, and make sure the cord is not frayed or damaged in any way.
  • Don’t use it outdoors: Electric fireplaces are not meant to be used outdoors, so avoid using them on your patio or deck. The weather can damage the fireplace, and it’s also a safety hazard to have an electrical appliance near water.

Gas Fireplaces

Gas fireplaces have quickly become one of the most popular styles, as they’re cheaper to run than electric fireplaces and more sustainable than electric. Here are some safety measures to take:

  • Carbon monoxide detectors: Because of the gas used in these fireplaces, it’s important to have carbon monoxide detectors in the home — and preferably near the fireplace. These will help to alert you to any potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, and give you time to take action.
  • Inspect the gas lines: The gas lines for your fireplace should be inspected regularly, as leaks can occur. If you smell gas, it’s important to take action immediately and call a professional.
  • Don’t use it if you smell gas: If you do smell gas, don’t try to light the fireplace. This could create a dangerous situation, so it’s best to just leave it alone and call a professional.
  • Check/don’t touch screen barrier: The screen barrier on a gas fireplace is there for a reason — to keep people and pets safe from the flames. It’s important to make sure the screen is in place at all times, and that it’s not damaged in any way. It also should not be touched when the fireplace is in operation.
  • Don’t use combustible materials: Finally, don’t use any combustible materials near the fireplace, as this could create a fire hazard. This includes things like newspapers, wood, or lighter fluid.

For more on how to maintain safety around any fireplace type, or to learn about our fireplace services for Heber or other clients, speak to the team at Uintah Fireplace and Design today.

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