A fireplace can lend vital warmth to a room and can make you feel cozy and right at home, especially during the harsh months of the winter. But not everything’s rosy and good like you probably thought it is.
The very same fireplace also poses a significant threat on your household until and unless you start recognizing these dangers and take appropriate measures to keep them at bay in the best possible manner. The following list of can help.
1. A blocked chimney
This issue mainly arises as a result of carelessness. Not having your flue and chimney inspected at the beginning of every heating season usually results in this problem.
If your chimney’s blocked by debris or birds’ nests, inadequate venting may occur. As a result, toxic fumes can easily enter into your home creating serious health issues in the long run.
The build-up of creosote (a byproduct obtained as a result of burning wood) in the chimney can also contribute in chimney blockage. A thorough professional chimney inspection, at least once a year, is the only thing capable of keeping this problem at bay in the best possible manner.
2. Keeping the damper closed while lighting the fire
The damper of your fireplace should always be opened before lighting the fire, and it should be kept open till everything’s cooled down to a safe, optimal temperature.
Closing the damper too soon (even when the ashes are too warm to the touch) can give poisonous gases, such as carbon monoxide, a smooth passage into your home. Carbon monoxide is a slow killer and can even result in deaths in extreme circumstances. So never take this point for granted during fireplace operation.
3. The use of charcoal inside the fireplace
We will be straight and right to the point as far as charcoal usage is concerned.
Charcoal should never be used in a fireplace because of its potential in leading to carbon monoxide poisoning. So avoid at all possible cost.
4. Using a fireplace without any barrier
A fireplace operating without a glass screen or a barrier is a dangerous fireplace, on the whole. This is especially true if you have children in your house.
Fireplace barriers are necessary to prevent burning logs, sparks and embers from jumping out of the fireplace and starting a disastrous fire on their own. These barriers can also play a key role in keeping inquisitive fingers at bay.
So never ignore these things at any possible cost. Small things like these can make all the differences in the world, either for good or bad.
5. Allowing children to get too close to the fireplace
These types of careless mistakes can get truly dangerous unless you try to nip the problem in the bud itself.
The fireplace barrier glass can get close to almost 400°F within a space of only 6 minutes in all. At the same time, you should also be aware of this fact that the glass can take roundabout 45 minutes to cool down back to its optimal temperature once the fire’s put out well and good.
So you can very well understand what can happen if your kid accidentally touches the fireplace glass at the time of its operation.
Therefore, it’s always advisable to keep a special tab on things like these. Otherwise, it can simply result in a DISASTER!
6. Using lighter fluid or gasoline as a substitute for wood
Gasoline or lighter fluid releases vapors during combustion. Uncontrolled combustion of these substances can only result in an explosion. So AVOID at all possible cost.
7. Burning plastic materials inside the fireplace
This will only release harmful toxic gases into your household environment.
So don’t ever burn plastic materials such as plastic glasses, cups, plates and other similar things in your fireplace for your own good. Restrict yourself to natural wood; it’s safer and healthier than any of these ridiculous alternative substances.
A final word…
Many people have the habit of pursuing with their fireplaces years in, years out without even bothering to give it a clean in times when it needs the most.
Now that is a huge mistake, on the whole. You should NEVER use your fireplace, especially when it needs through professional cleaning more than anything else, in particular. Always remember that even the slightest mistake can result in an accident to the point of no return. So why even take the chance?
Contributed by http://www.jamesthesweep.co.uk/