Sunday, July 14, 2024

Fireplace and Chimney Safety Tips to Prevent Winter Fires


OLYMPIA – As the mercury takes a plunge and winter approaches, many households in Washington State are gearing up to cozy up around their wood-burning fireplaces. However, it's essential to be mindful of safety, as heating equipment ranks among the primary culprits of home fires during the colder months.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating-related incidents accounted for a significant number of home fires in the past year. In Washington State alone, 757 fire incidents were attributed to heating equipment, including fireplaces and chimneys, resulting in an estimated total dollar loss exceeding 8 million dollars.

To ensure your home remains fire-safe during the coming winter, the State Fire Marshal's Office recommends the following safety tips:

Maintain Clearance: Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from your fireplace or wood stove to prevent accidental ignition.

No Paper Burning: Avoid burning paper in your fireplace, as it can lead to uncontrolled fires.

Extinguish Before Rest: Always extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving your home.

Regular Inspections: Have your chimney and fireplace professionally inspected and cleaned each year to eliminate potential hazards.

Ember Protection: Install a metal or glass screen in front of your fireplace to prevent embers or sparks from escaping.

Childproof: Ensure that fireplace switches and remotes are out of the reach of children and supervise them closely when wood-burning appliances are in use.

Smoke Alarms: Maintain working smoke alarms in your home and test them monthly to guarantee they function correctly.

Carbon Monoxide Detection: Install carbon monoxide alarms outside every sleeping area and on every level of your home to detect this colorless, odorless gas.

Kitchen Safety: When cooking, never leave the room unattended and keep flammable items away from the stove.

Proper Fuel: Burn only dry, seasoned wood in your fireplaces and wood stoves, and if using artificial fire logs, follow the manufacturer's recommendations, never burning more than one log at a time.

For further information and inquiries, please contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 596-3929.



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