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Top Eight Fireplace Safety Tips

With the coldest season of the year upon us, we'll all be spending a lot more time in front of our fires. With visiting family and everyone rushing around, it's important to keep your fireplace as safe as possible, to minimise the chance of any accidents or damage.

Our fireplace safety tips will help you stay on top of fireplace safety for the whole festive season and beyond!


Burn safe and suitable solid fuels 

Only burn fuels which are designed for use on your appliance, and refrain from burning materials like waste wood, cardboard, paper, and plastic. Doing so could not only cause damage to your appliance and chimney, but also presents a fire hazard.

If you burn wood, be sure that the wood is dried to a safe moisture level before putting it on the fire.

Click here for instructions on how to check if your logs are ready to burn.

Also consider burning heat logs, which are usually plentifully available, and manufactured from recycled wood.


Light your fire correctly

Avoid using flammable liquids like petrol or lighting fluid to light your fire. The opportunity for spillage is too great, and it is easy to use too much at once.

Use a safe and tested method of lighting the fire, such as firelighters, kindling, or Firebuilders.

Here’s a video on how to light your fire using a Firebuilder.


Don’t overload the fire

Build your fire slowly, and avoid making large and unstable piles of coal or logs that could move around and potentially exit the fireplace.


Dispose of ash safely

Make sure the fire is fully extinguished before cleaning out the fireplace. Hot ash can still ignite even over a day later!

Hold your hand over the ashes to feel for warmth, and then shovel out the ashes from the bottom of the pile, and test those for warmth too.

Do not vacuum ash unless you can be completely certain that all the ashes are cold. An ash vac is ideal for keeping the mess to a minimum.

A misting of water can also make fine ash a lot easier to sweep up and less likely to blow around.


Supervise the fireplace

A lit fire should never be left unattended, and this is even more important where children or pets are around.

A fireguard is useful for keeping children and pets at a safer distance from the fire, and can also protect from spitting embers.


Fit smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Any property, whether home to a solid fuel burning appliance or not, should be fitted with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

We all know how easy it is to nod off in front of the fire, and having audible detectors fitted throughout all levels of your home really does give you peace of mind that no matter where you are and what you’re doing, you’ll be alerted at the first signs of danger.

Read more about the dangers of carbon monoxide here.


Keep flammable materials away from the fire

Store your logs and coals at a distance of at least three feet from the fire. Also remove any flammable furnishings and rugs.

Lay flame proof material in front of the fire. This could be a small tiled area, or simply a fire proof rug.


Have the chimney swept regularly

We’re always harping on about having your chimney swept – and we’re sorry! But it is really important to have your chimney swept at least once a year.

Your chimney sweep not only removes dangerous deposits and potential blockages from your chimney, but will also inspect your chimney stack for damage. A clean chimney can help prevent both chimney fires, and carbon monoxide poisoning!

Click here to learn more about finding a chimney sweep.


Have a safe, warm, and wonderful Christmas and New Year.