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Fireplace Tips to Keep Family and Friends Safe This Christmas

Fireplace Beside Christmas Tree
Every Christmas season, friends and family members come to your home. And every year, somebody may have a close call with your fireplace. When treated properly, a fireplace is a safe and comforting area; without adequate protection it can be a threat. 
Therefore, fireplace owners need to understand the following fireplace safety tips fully. Each of these suggestions is designed to make your fireplace safe to be around for your loved ones this Christmas and to ensure nobody gets burned or injured. 
Prepare the Inside and Outside of the Chimney
Chimney preparation is one of the most important steps necessary to keep a fireplace safe. A good chimney cleaning can remove all the debris, soot, and dust that can trigger out-of-control fire dangers. Beyond a sweep, repairs on the chimney are essential. These repairs ensure that no fire escapes in cracks or threatens the safety of your loved ones. 
In addition, remember to add a cap to the chimney, which is a grate that goes on top of the chimney outside of a house. Once installed and locked into place, the cap will keep animals and outside debris from falling into the fireplace and causing dangerous fires.
Add a Spark Guard to the Front
During the Christmas season, family members and friends are going to want to sit around the fire and watch it burn. The feelings of togetherness inspired by quietly enjoying a roaring fireplace is hard to top, but this situation can be dangerous if no spark guard is installed on the hearth. 
Spark guards are metal grates that sit in front of the fire inside of the home and keep embers and burning wood from popping into the house. Thankfully, these grates allow heat to escape from the fireplace and warm your friends and family members while it keeps fire risks as minimized as possible. 
Burn Cured and Dried Wood
Keeping a fireplace burning during the winter is going to require a lot of wood. That wood demand may be even higher than usual during Christmas time because family members and friends may want the fire burning as much as possible. However, you shouldn't burn just any old wood. Stick with cured and dried wood. 
Good fireplace wood should be split, stacked, and dried for several months before burning. Typically, eight to 12 months of curing and drying is best for fireplace wood. Hardwoods like oak, beech, and ash are the best choice for Christmas woods. Each type can burn for a long time and provide a maximum amount of heat. 
Keep Children Away From the Fireplace
Children are often entranced by the burning flames of a fireplace and may stick their hands near it. Unfortunately, these children may get too close to the fire and get burned. Therefore, owners of a fireplace need to keep children several feet from the fire at all times. In fact, very young children may need to be held or watched at all times when they are near the fire to avoid burns. 
Small gates and fences may also be installed near the fireplace to keep children from getting too near it. Owners can even close the front of the fireplace and lock the gate while the fire burns. By using this safety measure, parents can relax without having to watch their children every moment. 
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors 
The flames of the fireplace are not the only problem you might experience this Christmas. Carbon monoxide may develop in furnaces that aren't properly cleaned or maintained.
Install carbon monoxide detectors near the front of the unit to ensure that this gas isn't growing and affecting family members and friends.
If you are interested in adding safety features to your fireplace this Christmas contact R & R Fireplace and Chimney.